Claude Monet, A. Rodin. Claude MONET, Auguste RODIN.

“One Seemed to Complete the Other”

Claude Monet, A. Rodin.

89, [1] p. 8vo, orig. printed gray pebbled paper wrappers (spine a bit sunned), stitched as issued. Paris: [Galerie Georges Petit]: 1889.

The scarce catalogue of a storied exhibition of Monet and Rodin at the Galerie Georges Petit, organized in the summer of 1889 to coincide with the Paris Exposition Universelle. Monet displayed 145 of his recent works, and Rodin 36. Up to that point, the art world had rejected Monet’s groundbreaking compositions, but this event proved to be a turning point in his career. The two essays, printed herein, by the critics Octave Mirbeau and Gustave Geffroy on Monet and Rodin, respectively, praise the artists’ originality and daring.

The installation of the exhibition did not unfold smoothly. Put in place on the morning of the vernissage, Rodin’s sculptures obscured many of Monet’s paintings, leading Monet to worry in a letter to Georges Petit that his best works would be “lost.” According to Edmond de Goncourt, the normally soft-spoken Rodin, made aware of Monet’s consternation, blurted, “I don’t give a damn about Monet, I don’t care about everyone else, I will just take care of myself!” The tension between the artists soon dissipated, and the exhibition proved an enormous success and precipitated the recognition of Monet as a visionary. Mere acquaintances before this exhibition, the two artists maintained a regular correspondence until Rodin’s death in 1917.

The catalogue chronologically lists the 145 works selected by Monet, executed between 1864 and 1889, and the 36 sculptures by Rodin. The owners of many of the pieces are provided. We find a handful of contemporary observations written in the margins as well as a skilled sketch of a Rodin on p. 84.

In his review of the exhibition, the journalist and critic Charles Frémine wrote in Le Rappel: “The one seems to complete the other. Rodin could find no better frame for his sculpture than the painting of Claude Monet…At first glance, one sees that they are a force unto themselves. One is really in their space, and nature is at home here. It is to nature alone that they address their work…Result: surprise, novelty, originality…What they found is life.”

A near fine copy; minor wear to the extremities.

Price: $3,250.00

Item ID: 7595

See all items by ,