How beauty from the brush of Claude Monet was born from war

The painter Claude Monet at work in his studio. (Everett Collection/CP)

In early September 1914, after tens of thousands of French soldiers had already died in a war only a month old and the French government had fled to Bordeaux, 73-year-old Claude Monet was feeling defiant. “I shall stay here regardless,” he wrote from his home at Giverny outside Paris, “and if those barbarians wish to kill me, I shall die among my canvases, in front of my life’s work.” It’s an arresting,...

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