Art: The Old Man and the Pond

At Manhattan's Metropolitan, a superb Monet show

In painting, two great landscapists, Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne, are twin bridges between the 19th century and our own. As Cézanne's work provoked cubism, so Monet's looked forward to abstract expressionism. Today the role of landscape in art has shrunk. But the most ecstatic perceptions of experience and the most radical discoveries about the language of color and shape that these sublime artificers made were developed from their landscape motifs. Cézanne's was the Provençal countryside around Aix. Monet's was a garden at Giverny, about 40 miles...

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