“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a famous French painter of oil paintings whose work gave name to the art movement Impressionism. Which was focussed on the visual impression of the moment by capturing light, colors and natural forms.
Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris, France. He enrolled in the Academie Suisse. After an art exhibition in 1874, a critic insultingly dubbed Monet's painting style "Impression," since it was more concerned with form and light than realism, and the term stuck. Monet struggled with depression, poverty and illness throughout his life. He died in 1926.
One of the most famous painters in the history of art and a leading figure in the Impressionist movement, whose works can be seen in museums around the world, Oscar Claude Monet (some sources say Claude Oscar) was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris, France. Monet's father, Adolphe, worked in his family's shipping business, while his mother, Louise, took care of the family. A trained singer, Louise liked poetry and was a popular hostess.
In 1845, at the age of 5, Monet moved with his family to Le Havre, a port town in the Normandy region. He grew up there with his older brother, Leon. While he was reportedly a decent student, Monet did not like being confined to a classroom. He was more interested in being outside. At an early age, Monet developed a love of drawing. He filled his school books with sketches of people, including caricatures of his teachers. While his mother supported his artistic efforts, Monet's father wanted him to go into business. Monet suffered greatly after the death of his mother in 1857.
In the community, Monet became well-known for his caricatures and for drawing many of the town's residents. After meeting Eugene Boudin, a local landscape artist, Monet started to explore the natural world in his work. Boudin introduced him to painting outdoors, or plein air painting, which would later become the cornerstone of Monet's work.
From 1861 to 1862, Monet served in the military and was stationed in Algiers, Algeria, but he was discharged for health reasons. Returning to Paris, Monet studied with Charles Gleyre. Through Gleyre, Monet met several other artists, including Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frederic Bazille; the four of them became friends. He also received advice and support from Johann Barthold Jongkind, a landscape painter who proved to be an important influence to the young artist.
Monet liked to work outdoors and was sometimes accompanied by Renoir, Sisley and Bazille on these painting sojourns. Monet won acceptance to the Salon of 1865, an annual juried art show in Paris; the show chose two of his paintings, which were marine landscapes. Though Monet's works received some critical praise, he still struggled financially.
The following year, Monet was selected again to participate in the Salon. This time, the show officials chose a landscape and a portrait Camille (or also called Woman in Green), which featured his lover and future wife, Camille Doncieux. Doncieux came from a humble background and was substantially younger than Monet. She served as a muse for him, sitting for numerous paintings during her lifetime. The couple experienced great hardship around the birth of their first son, Jean, in 1867. Monet was in dire financial straits, and his father was unwilling to help them. Monet became so despondent over the situation that, in 1868, he attempted suicide by trying to drown himself in the Seine River.
Fortunately, Monet and Camille soon caught a break: Louis-Joachim Gaudibert became a patron of Monet's work, which enabled the artist to continue his work and care for his family. Monet and Camille married in June 1870, and following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, the couple fled with their son to London, England. There, Monet met Paul Durand-Ruel, who became his first art dealer.
The society's April 1874 exhibition proved to be revolutionary. One of Monet's most noted works in the show, "Impression, Sunrise" (1873), depicted Le Havre's harbor in a morning fog. Critics used the title to name the distinct group of artists "Impressionists," saying that their work seemed more like sketches than finished paintings.
While it was meant to be derogatory, the term seemed fitting. Monet sought to capture the essence of the natural world using strong colors and bold, short brushstrokes; he and his contemporaries were turning away from the blended colors and evenness of classical art. Monet also brought elements of industry into his landscapes, moving the form forward and making it more contemporary. Monet began to exhibit with the Impressionists after their first show in 1874, and continued into the 1880s.
Monet died on December 5, 1926, at his home in Giverny. Monet once wrote, "My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects." Most art historians believe that Monet accomplished much more than this: He helped change the world of painting by shaking off the conventions of the past. By dissolving forms in his works, Monet opened the door for further abstraction in art, and he is credited with influencing such later artists as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning.