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The Cover
December 8, 2010

The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Mrs Monet

JAMA. 2010;304(22):2445. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1782

Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) met his muse and future wife, Camille Doncieux, in the late winter or early spring of 1864-1865. Unfortunately, much information about their early life together, as well as Doncieux's family background, was lost when Monet destroyed her correspondence and personal mementoes after her death in 1879, at the insistence of his second wife, Alice Hoschedé Monet. What is known is that Doncieux began to model for Monet when she was a teenaged girl and he was a young painter who was just beginning to discover the dimensions of his talent. They became lovers, but it was her skill as a model rather than Monet's feelings for her as a woman that inspired him to paint her likeness so many times ( JAMA cover August 28, 2002).