Visitor Information The Exhibition Browse the Sketchbooks
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√Čtretat, the Cap d'Antifer, c. 1885. Pastel. Private collection
CLAUDE MONET IS AMONG the world's most celebrated painters, yet he is almost unknown as a draftsman. This is the first exhibition to explore Monet's works on paper, from caricatures he made as a boy to sketchbook studies for his late water-lily canvases. Monet also produced highly finished black-chalk drawings and more than a hundred pastels. He showed seven pastels at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, and created another group in London in 1901.

In public, Monet presented himself as an artist who painted spontaneously from nature. This exhibition tells a less familiar story, revealing his use of small sketches to define subjects for pictures and the role of line in his painting practice. As his fame spread, Monet exploited his drawing skills to promote his work in the print media. When the artist reached his sixties, there had been no decade—perhaps no single year—when drawings, sketchbooks, or pastels were absent from his art.

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