Claude Monet was a French impressionist painter and one of the most popular artists of that style. His works are among the most coveted paintings in the world. So it came as no surprise that his “secret” art collection garnered a lot of attention when it was put up in display for the first time earlier this week. The collection was part of Monet’s own private collection.
French historians spent years searching for the rare collection of Monet. The collection includes his paintings as well as works by his contemporaries including Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro and Delacroix. The collection was secretly bought by Monet and he kept them secret from the public throughout most of his life. The collection will be displayed almost 90 years after the artist’s death.
Monet has always hinted at his secret collection. He once told journalists that his collection was for himself and a few friends only. Monet kept the paintings on the second floor of his private apartments in Giverny. Although he had an extensive collection, he did not keep records of what he bought and owned. The collection includes 120 paintings by Monet and some of the most influential artists of the time.
“We knew really very little about the collection,” said Marianne Mathieu, one of the curators at the Marmottan Monet Museum, “Monet didn’t speak about his private life and kept his art collection just as private,” There was an inventory of the paintings kept by Monet when he died in 1926, but this was destroyed during World War II. This will be first time that the public will be able to see his private collection.