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Claude Monet under the gaze of P.J. Toulet

In 1924, "Notes d'Art" appeared, a posthumous work in which Paul-Jean Toulet (1865-1920) gave his impressions, thoughts and criticisms about the salons, museums and artists he visited between 1905 and 1916.

Randomly walking around the Place du Palais de Justice in Nice, I came across a copy of this book a few months ago, in poor condition. I bought it for a pittance, I undertook to restore it and I discovered a few nuggets, like this article on Claude Monet in which Toulet wrote in particular: "... his canvases seen as a whole are all light and harmony ... the best and the worst that has been said of him was to define him: an eye at the end of the brush".

Camille Pissarro Bazincourt, effet de neige. Coucher du soleil, 1892, Huile sur toile, 32 x 41 cm, Hasso Platner Collection / Sammlung Hasso Plattner
Claude Monet at Giverny, with his Water Lilies

Paul-Jean Toulet writes about thirty "Water Lilies" exhibited at the gallery owner Paul Durand Ruel.

Claude Monet Champ de coquelicots près de Vétheuil 1879  Collection Bührle. Zürich
Paul-Jean Toulet's book. Initial state of coverage

The book, after restoration... © Fabrice Roy

La section consacrée à Claude Monet. © Fabrice Roy
The section devoted to Claude Monet. © Fabrice Roy
Marie Bashkirtseff - Autoportrait - 1880 - Musée des Beaux Arts Jules Chéret. Nice
Paul-Jean Toulet and his sister Jane. Circa 1885. © All rights reserved

Writer, poet and art critic, Paul-Jean Toulet trained alongside Willy, of whom he was one of the ghost writers in the same way as Curnonsky or Tristan-Bernard. Inventor of the "Contrerime", an audacious poetic form based on quatrains with embraced rhymes, he published numerous novels (My friend Nane - 1905), literary notes and even tales (Les contes de Bohanzique).

He died in 1920, without having been able to realize a project he had with Claude Debussy, around "As you like it" by William Shakespeare.

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...


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