Monet has has long been more popular on this side of the Channel than the side on which he was born. When the Royal Academy exhibited a show of the French impressionist's work in 1999, the gallery opened around the clock to meet demand. A show at the Tate in 2005, showing Monet alongside Whistler and Turner, drew more than 382,000 visits. By contrast, the French have always been surprisingly cool about the pioneering artist, preferring his contemporaries such as Manet and Cézanne.
But now the French seem to be waking up to Monet's potential as a crowd puller. The Grand Palais in Paris is mounting the largest retrospective of his work in the country since 1980. And demand for tickets has been strong. There will be an extensive exhibition at the Musee Marmottan-Monet too at the same time.
But does this mean that the French have finally learned to love their Monet? Or have they simply devised a way to make, well, money, out of him? We shall see. But, thankfully, even if there is going to another jump in his popularity, the artist was prolific enough in his lifetime to satisfy demand. For once, there is likely to be enough Monet to go around.Reuse content