( 1841-1929). It was probably psychological fatalism which led Clemenceau to take up the cudgels for those who were making the Impressionist revolution. Naturally enough it was Monet, another rugged individualist, who particularly took his fancy. Years later, at the end of a turbulent political life, he could still take time to write about Monet in The Water Lilies ( 1928). He was a fervent admirer, too, of Rodin, but Rodin confided that Clemenceau made him start over again no fewer than fourteen times when he sat for his bust, apparently convinced that no material, however plastic, could adequately suggest the volcanic mobility of his feelings. There is no doubt, though, that Monet's intensity of feeling harmonized with Clemenceau's. The Tiger's enthusiasm was strong for the series of Haystacks, Cathedrals and Water Lilies -- those works in which Monet pushed to its extreme consequences his single-minded passion for colour. Clemenceau took sides with most of the young talent of his day and was one of the first to demonstrate that the future is always to the avant garde. It was by his order, as Premier, in 1907, that Manet Olympia, which had been offered to the Government in 1890, following its purchase by public subscription, was finally allowed to enter the Louvre, in spite of rabid opposition from members of the Institut de France. It is thanks to Clemenceau, too, that the Water Lilies are now on view at the Orangerie. Monet agreed to give this famous series to the State after Clemenceau promised that it would be exhibited under the same conditions as those in which he had always seen it in the artist's studio at Giverny.

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