It's one of the most iconic series of paintings in the world: Monet's water lilies series, huge watercolour canvases that are instantly recognizable, even to those outside the art world. But the story of how they came to be hasn't been widely explored - until now. In Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies (Bond Street Books) acclaimed historian Ross King delves into the surprisingly tense and moving story of the paintings' creation. Started by Monet at the age of 71, following the loss of his wife, one of his sons, and the garden that had been his inspiration for decades, the series was his desperate response to both his personal losses and a world that was rejecting the Impressionist movement.
Mad Enchantment is nominated for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize for Nonfiction, which rewards the finest book of non-fiction published each year. It is a second nomination for King, whose previous book Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven was also shortlisted.
We're pleased to present the fourth video in our interview series with the Taylor Prize finalists, courtesy of and produced by the RBC Taylor Prize, speaking with Ross about Mad Enchantment. He tells us about the possibility of a film adaptation, the experience of interacting with his readers as he travels the world, and what's next for him.