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[Noisy-le-Sec • France • 12 March 2016]

 

How to get free of landscape? How to transcend what Monet called an “unfortunate speciality”? The solution he came up with lay in a motif taken from landscape but differing from it by virtue of indefinite repetition. Late in the summer of 1889, after a visit to Giverny by Berthe Morisot and Mallarmé, the painter stopped to scrutinise a haystack: he had found what he was looking for.

 

Marianne Alphant is a French writer and literary critic. A graduate of the Ecole Normale and holder of an agrégation in philosophy, she worked for the Paris daily Libération from 1983 to 1982. She edited the Centre Pompidou’s Revues parlées from 1993 to 2010 and is the author of several books on Claude Monet, among them Monet: une vie dans le paysage (Paris: Hazan, 1993, reprinted 2010).