We [B, R & X] went to visit the fantastic Monet exhibit in Paris where more than 170 paintings of Claude Monet have been reunited at the Grand Palais museum. Apart from the Rouen cathedral series (reduced to the sole four copies found in Musée d’Orsay), there are several items of the major series, including the House of Parliament, the haystacks, and of course the nympheas… Although Monet is my favourite impressionist (and maybe my favourite painter, thanks to a book on his paintings I once received for X’mas!), there were paintings I had never seen before, like the series on the ice collapse over the Seine or the series on the Vétheuil village… However, I am always falling back on the Rouen cathedral series, for the range of its twenty-eight versions, as a culmination of a seismic thought experiment that finally explains why painting is more about time and less about location. About those paintings, my greatest frustration was the day [more than ten years ago] I went to Rouen to see the twenty-eight copies reunited at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, only to discover this was the closing day of the museum! (I also just found that 11 versions had been gathered for the Une ville pour l’impressionnisme last September…)

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