Claude Monet | the artist
The artist Claude Monet
Pseudonym: (Claude Oscar Monet)
Born Nov 14 1840, Paris, France.
Died Dec 5 1926, Giverny, .
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Claude Monet was regarded as the founder of French Impressionist painting. He was born on November 14, 1840 and died on December 5, 1926. The term Impressionism was first derived from his painting entitled ‘Impression Sunrise’ that was exhibited in 1874.
Although born in Paris, the young Monet and his family moved to Normandy to live there permanently. His mother was a singer, while his father a businessman. He studied the arts against his father’s wishes for him to run their grocery business.
Monet acquired his education at the Le Havre Secondary School of the Arts. He was still in school when he started selling charcoal caricatures for 20 francs apiece. He took drawing lessons under Jacques Francois Orchard, who was in turn, taught by Jacques Louis David. His mentor in oil painting was Eugene Boudin. They were both influenced by Johan Barthold Jongkind.
Claude Monet was the first artist to hold an Impressionist exhibition. That exhibit held in 1874 at Capucines, Paris, was also his first. At the time, he was promoting the idea that artists can free themselves from the usual constraints of producing an artwork.
Monet was widely lauded for his landscapes and seascapes, as those were also his best artworks. He also painted a lot of gardens, flowers, and ponds, especially during the later part of his life. In all of his works, Monet was deemed to be an expert when it comes to lighting and coloring. He was the master of analyzing the effects of one against the other.
Monet’s best work was indeed, the ‘Impression, Sunrise’ painting. It was what started the French Impressionist movement, which eventually became his legacy to the arts. ‘Impression, Sunrise’ is a painting of the Le Havre port seascape.
He also created highly detailed oil paintings. Some notable examples were the ‘Woman in a Garden’ (1867) and ‘Jardin a Sainte Adresse’ (1867). These two paintings were now on exhibit at the Hermitage and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. His other notable paintings are ‘The Woman in the Green Dress’ (1866), ‘Madame Monet’ (1875), ‘View at Rouelles, Le Havre’ (1858), ‘Argenteuil’ (1874), ‘In the Garden’ (1895), and ‘Agapanthus’ (1914).
He also created a portrait of his good friend and fellow artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1875. Such painting is now on display at the Musee d’Orsay.
Interviews and Statements
The lowest point in Claude Monet’s life was the time when his wife Camille succumbed to tuberculosis and uterine cancer. When she died, Monet decided to paint a portrait of her lying on her deathbed. When asked about it, he explained, “The day I found myself looking at my wife’s dead face, I just systematically noted the colors like automatic reflex.” He furthered confessed that analyzing colors was both the torment and joy his life.
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