(Art)Books we love | Zu Gast bei Monet

The wide range of art books and artist’s books is amazing. Every year there’re hundreds of new ones coming to the stores and it’s hard to keep track of all of them. As I am working in the publishing industry presenting an art book every week is very important to me. This week’s recommendation is special and not a classical art book it still has coffee table qualities though.

Wera already showed you the cook book of Olafur Eliasson a couple of weeks ago and I have another cook book for you today. It’s not made by an artist but inspired by one. The French art historian and curator Florence Gentner who is an expert for the Impressionists wrote this cook book inspired by the famous painter Claude Monet (1840-1928).

Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air (outside) landscape painting. The term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his famous painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.

Impression, soleil levant, 1872; the painting that gave its name to the style. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Impression, soleil levant, 1872; the painting that gave its name to the style. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property, and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life. He was probably the first artist I knew because my grandparents have some replicas of his famous paintings in their living room.

Claude Monet was not only a famous painter, but also a passionate gourmet. The small village of Giverny northwest of Paris was his refuge: In his house surrounded by wonderful gardens with the famous lily ponds the artists entertained his many friends with homely yet highly delicious French dishes cooked by his personal cook. The book includes the best recipes known to be loved and often served by Monet. Cheese soufflé, fish soup, potato pies, sautéed chicken, fine tarts, biscuits and creams: the whole range of appetizers, soups, meat, fish and vegetable dishes, sauces and side dishes are included. The author selected 180 for the book and they all look delicious. I haven’t had the time to try any though.

The book is divided into four big chapters: Childhood, breakfast, the magic of Giverny and Gourmet. A lush illustrated outline of Monet’s life and work completes the book as it marks the beginning of every chapter and makes it a very special invitation to the world of the great Impressionists. I really like the combination of the stories and the recipes. The texts make you want to start cooking straight away. They also give you the feeling of travelling to France and the high quality images make your mouth water by just looking at them. I might have gained some pounds just by reading this book 😉

The Book

Zu Gast bei Monet Zu Gast bei Monet Zu Gast bei Monet Zu Gast bei Monet Zu Gast bei Monet

#book | Zu Gast bei Monet. Rezepte aus Giverny

#author | Florence Gentner

#photographer | Francis Hammond

#language | German

#publisher | Prestel

#ISBN | 978-3-7913-8287-6

#pages | 240

#published | 2016

you can get your copy here.


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