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Friday, April 07, 2017

Mad Enchantment- Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

A very engaging audiobook, written beautifully and narrated very well.

There are so many fascinating stories I didn't know. Particularly the friendship between Monet and Georges Clemenceau. It's very touching really. 
I like the fact that the author didn't write usual biography spanning all his life. Instead, he focused on Monet's later life and Water Lilies paintings. Insightful account of the War, art movement, social change, cultural dynamics....

Towards the end, he quotes a very moving poem by Edmund Waller, "Old Age".

THE seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes         
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.
The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.  
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

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