Cyrille Sciama (author), Marie Delbarre (author), Geraldine Lefebvre (author), Pierre Wat (author), Valerie Reis (author)

Description: Recent research on late impressionism has highlighted the surprising correspondences between the work of impressionist paragon Claude Monet and that of abstract painters such as Mark Rothko.

This book offers an unprecedented dialogue between the paintings of Monet and Rothko, two artists who explored the frontiers of abstraction. It explores the uncanny similarities between their works, painted almost half a century apart, as well as the significance of the differences between the master artists’ styles. Monet conveyed the immediacy of his impressions of nature, while Rothko plunged the viewer into the depths of colors that he superimposed and interwove.

And yet this book—originally conceived to accompany an exhibition at the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny and illustrated with sixty chromatically organized reproductions—reveals an undeniable relationship between their pictorial universes, challenging the viewer’s perception of abstraction and modernity. This confrontation, contextualized through the analysis of renowned critics, sheds new light on the oeuvre of two of the greatest masters of painting and offers fresh insight into the essence of what makes their works so inherently original.


In the Preface to this beautiful book Sébastien Lecornu, President of the Museé des Impressionnismes Giverny explains that as part of its longstanding commitment to the promotion of Impressionism the museum has always been eager to set up a dialogue between modern and contemporary art, and as he explains,

‘What could be more exhilarating than to discover the relationship between Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Mark Rothko (1903 – 1970)?’

This volume and the exhibition it originally accompanied form an ambitious project, juxtaposing the visions of the master of impressionism and one of the most iconic figures of modern art.’

What we love about this book is the way that it illustrates the immersive way in which the museum encourages its visitors to slow down and how it brings together art and nature. Sharing not just knowledge, study and education, but also encouraging pleasure and relaxation.

One of the many fascinating facts shared in this book is that Rothko was a great admirer of Monet and the exhibition highlighted the links between the abstraction of Monet and that of Rothko.

The Monet/Rothko exhibition was held from March 18 to July 3, 2022 and the focus was placed on a particular period; the later years of Claude Monet’s  career from 1900 onward, and Mark Rothko’s  works from the years 1950-60 in particular. 

What this book and the exhibition encouraged is contemplation, both painters in this period were working on a larger scale, and if you have ever stood in front of one of their larger scale paintings you will recall the overwhelming need to just stand and immerse yourself in the experience.

The Works section of this book is outstanding, sharing beautiful examples of the work of both artists in single page illustrations and encouraging that same level of contemplation.

The rest of this beautiful book is accompanied by essays where Geraldine Lefebvre, Cyrille Sciama, and Pierre Wat further analyse the work of both artists .

There is also a fascinating and detailed chronology compiled by Marie Delbarre and Valérie Reis providing information about the lives of both artists and the circumstances in which Monet’s and Rothko’s paintings were created.

This is such a special and beautiful book, providing a glorious insight into the work of both artists, the photography is outstanding and the essays and chronology add further depth to our understanding of both artists.

Very Highly Recommended!

Monet/Rothko Written by Cyrille Sciama (author), Marie Delbarre (author), Geraldine Lefebvre (author), Pierre Wat (author), Valerie Reis (author)

is published by Editions Flammarion