Claude Monet was the leader of the French Impressionist movement. He was crucial in bringing its adherents together as an inspirational talent and personality. Interested in painting in the open air and capturing natural light, Monet would later bring the technique to one of its most famous pinnacles with his series of paintings, in which his observations of the same subject, viewed at various times of the day, were captured in numerous sequences.

Claude Monet’s later artwork frequently acquired stunning levels of abstraction, which has promoted him to successive generations of abstract artists.

Masterful as a colorist and painter of light and atmosphere, his later work often achieved a remarkable degree of abstraction, which has recommended him to subsequent generations of abstract painters. His popularity soared in the second half of the 20th century when his works traveled the world in museum exhibitions that attracted record-breaking crowds and marketed popular commercial items featuring imagery from his art.

The best Painting tutors available
Nimisha
5
5 (30 reviews)
Nimisha
₹999
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Priyanka
5
5 (49 reviews)
Priyanka
₹400
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Vandana
5
5 (54 reviews)
Vandana
₹500
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Greeshma
5
5 (18 reviews)
Greeshma
₹75
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Ishika
4.9
4.9 (24 reviews)
Ishika
₹320
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Alismita kalita
5
5 (59 reviews)
Alismita kalita
₹250
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Kriti
4.9
4.9 (11 reviews)
Kriti
₹300
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Madhumita
4.9
4.9 (17 reviews)
Madhumita
₹200
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Nimisha
5
5 (30 reviews)
Nimisha
₹999
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Priyanka
5
5 (49 reviews)
Priyanka
₹400
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Vandana
5
5 (54 reviews)
Vandana
₹500
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Greeshma
5
5 (18 reviews)
Greeshma
₹75
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Ishika
4.9
4.9 (24 reviews)
Ishika
₹320
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Alismita kalita
5
5 (59 reviews)
Alismita kalita
₹250
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Kriti
4.9
4.9 (11 reviews)
Kriti
₹300
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Madhumita
4.9
4.9 (17 reviews)
Madhumita
₹200
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Let's go

Claude Monet: Biography

Claude Monet, in full Oscar-Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. This French painter went on to become the initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style. In his mature works, Monet developed his method of producing repeated studies of the same motif in series, changing canvases with the light or as his interest shifted. These series were frequently exhibited in groups.

Early Life of Claude Monet

Oscar Claude Monet moved to Le Havre, a seaside town in northern France, at age five. His father was a successful grocer that later turned to shipping. His mother died when he was 15. The ocean and rugged coastline of Northern France had a profound effect on him at an early age. He often ran away from school for walks along the cliffs and beaches. As a youth, he received instruction at the College du Havre from a former pupil of the famous Neo-Classical artist Jacques-Louis David. Creative and enterprising from an early age, he drew caricatures in his spare time and sold them for 20 francs apiece. Capitalizing on his early aptitude for art, he managed to save a good bit of money from his art sales.

Discover more world-famous painters.

Monet loved to paint outdoors
Monet's canvases generally reflected an outdoor theme. | Image courtesy: David Mark on Pixabay

Early Training

A pivotal experience occurred in 1856 when Monet became friends with Eugéne Boudin, a landscape painter famous for his scenes of northern French coastal towns. Boudin encouraged him to paint outdoors, and this en plein air technique changed Monet's concept of how art could be created. Despite being rejected for a scholarship, in 1859, Monet moved to Paris to study with help from his family. However, instead of choosing the more customary career path of a Salon painter by enrolling at the École des Beaux-Arts, Monet attended the more avant-garde Académie Suisse, where he met fellow artist Camille Pissarro.

Learn more about one of the greatest painters in history, Vincent Van Gogh.

Mature Period

Monet was obligated to serve his time in the army and was sent to Algiers in 1861. The ambiance in Northern Africa inspired Monet and greatly influenced his artistic and personal viewpoint. When he returned to Le Havre after his duty, the Dutch landscape and marine painter Johan Jongkind delivered him “last schooling of the eye.”

Following this period, he once again returned to Paris, where he apprenticed in Swiss artist Charles Gleyre’s workshop with pupils – and future Impressionists – such as Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Renoir. The Paris Salon selected two of Monet’s seascapes for display in 1865, Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur (1865) and Le pavé de Chailly (1865).

In 1865, the Paris Salon accepted two of Monet's seascapes for exhibition. However, the artist felt confined by working in a studio, preferring his earlier painting experience in nature. Hence, he moved outside Paris to the edge of the Fontainebleau forest. Using his future wife, Camille Doncieux, as his sole model, his ambitiously large Women in the Garden (1866-67) culminated the ideas and themes in his earlier work. Monet was hopeful that the work would be included in the Paris Salon, but his style kept him at odds with the jurors, and the picture was refused, leaving the artist devastated. The official salon at this time still valued Romanticism. (In 1921, to assuage the 50-year-old insult, Monet made the French government purchase the painting for the enormous sum of 200,000 francs.)

To escape the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Monet took refuge in London, producing many scenes such as Westminster Bridge (1871). His wife and their new baby boy Jean joined him. He visited London museums and saw the works of John Constable and J.M.W. Turner, whose romantic naturalism influenced his use of light. Most importantly, he met Paul Durand-Ruel, who ran a new modern art gallery on Bond Street. Durand-Ruel became a major supporter of Monet and Pissarro, and later Renoir, Degas, and other French Impressionists.

Monet once again made his way back to France after the war and resided in Argenteuil, a Paris neighborhood near the Seine River. Over the course of the next six years, he polished his technique and produced over 150 canvases to capture the changes in the burgeoning region, such as Le Bassin d’Argenteuil (1872).

Discover the most famous works of Pablo Picasso.

While Manet was ten years older and had distinguished himself as a painter considerably earlier than Monet, by the 1870s, both had significantly affected the other. Monet had effectively won Manet over to creating art outdoors by 1874. To continue their protest against the salon system, Monet and his associates staged their own exhibition in 1874, exhibited in the abandoned studio of photographer and caricaturist Nadar.

Tranquility in the fields was Monet's trademark
Monet's themes tended toward the pastoral. | Image courtesy: David Mark on Pixabay

This was dubbed the “First Impressionist Exhibition.” These painters, including Degas, Renoir, and Pissarro, were among the first to adapt to changes in their city. The broader boulevards required to suit the rising trends of public life and the burgeoning flow of consumption reflected Paris’ modernization. Monet unwittingly gave the movement its name with his 1873 piece Impression, Sunrise, albeit that phrase was first used by authors to condemn these sorts of works.

His appearance drew the attention of Parisian friends like Manet and Renoir.

Claude Monet’s artworks were not a reliable source of income for him, and he frequently had to borrow funds from friends. Monet experienced economic security after winning many commissions through the 1870s, but he was in severe problems by the close of the decade. In 1877, the Monets lived in Vetheuil with Alice Hoschede and her half-dozen children.

Monet found a home in the peaceful little region known as Giverny, with a tiny population of around 300 residents. His principal source of inspiration for the last 30 years of his life was the Giverny estate. He created a Japanese garden for reflection and relaxation, with a pond laden with water lilies and an arching bridge.

Learn about the contributions of the versatile Leonardo da Vinci.

Monet achieved his greatest achievements at Giverny. His Impressionist paintings, such as The Artist’s Garden at Giverny (1900), started selling in the United States, England, and his own country. He became a nobleman, hiring a big group of employees at his residence, which included six gardeners who cared for his lily pond and cherished garden.

When his series of grain stacks, such as Wheatstacks (End of Summer) (1890-1891), created at varying periods of the day, was shown at Durand-gallery, Ruel’s it gained great accolades from critics, buyers, as well as the public at large. He subsequently changed his focus to Rouen Cathedral, where he researched the effects of shifting ambiance, lighting, and mood on its facade at various time periods.

Later Years and Death of Claude Monet

Ultimately, Monet preferred to be alone with nature, creating his paintings rather than participating in theoretical or critical battles within Paris's artistic and cultural scene. Whereas he traveled throughout the 1880s and 1890 to places like London, Venice, Norway, and around France - in 1908, he settled for the remainder of his life in Giverny. The year 1911 saw the death of his second wife, Alice, followed by the passing on of his son Jean. Shattered by these deaths, the ragings of the First World War, and even a cataract forming over one of his eyes, Monet essentially ceased to paint.

At the time, the French statesman Georges Clemenceau, who was also Monet's friend, asked Monet to create an artwork that would lift the country out of the gloom of the Great War. At first, Monet said he was too old and not up to the task, but eventually, Clemenceau lifted him out of his mourning by encouraging him to create a glorious artwork - what Monet called "the great decoration."

Monet conceived a continuous sequence of waterscapes situated in an oval salon as a world within a world. A new studio with a glass wall facing the garden was built for this purpose, and despite having cataracts (one of which he had surgically removed), Monet was able to move a portable easel around to different places within the studio to capture the ever-changing light and perspective of his water lilies. He continued to work on his water paintings right up until the end of his life.

Discover the many moods of Henri Matisse.

The Orangerie museum was ultimately built with two elliptical rooms to house Monet's water lilies. The all-over compositions of the canvases and the designed rooms allowed the viewer to feel as if they were within the water surrounded by the foliage. The ultimate installation was loved by many critics and was most famously proclaimed "the Sistine Chapel of Impressionism" by the Surrealist writer and artist Andre Masson.

Monet loved painting in his gardens
Monet's gardens were lush, offering much to fuel his depictions of nature. | Image courtesy: Juliane Lutz on Pixabay

Legacy of Claude Monet

Claude Monet was famous for his Impressionist paintings which continue to inspire artists. Some of his most renowned works include:

  • Women in the Garden (1867)
  • Westminster Bridge (1871)
  • Woman with a Parasol (1875)
  • Grainstacks, end of day, Autumn (1891)
  • Rouen Cathedral: The Facade at Sunset (1894)
  • Morning on the Seine (1898)
  • Charing Cross Bridge (1899)
  • Grand Canal, Venice (1908)
  • Water Lilies (1919)

Learn about the life and times of post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne.

Where Can You Find Monet Paintings in the World?

You can view Claude Monet’s Impression, Sunrise at the wonderful Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.

  • You can view Monet’s La Grenouillèr at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
    • You can view a painting from the Monet Rouen Cathedral series at the following art museums in France:
    • Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris
    • Musee D’Orsay in Paris
    • Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen in Rouen
  • You can view this painting at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
  • The following art museums hold a famous Monet Painting of the Houses of Parliament
    • Art Institute of Chicago
    • Brooklyn Museum
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Musée d’Orsay
    • Museum of modern art André Malraux – MuMa
    • Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
  • The iconic Claude Monet Water Lilies are scattered worldwide and are recognized as his most famous paintings.
  • The largest Haystacks collections are held at the Musée d’Orsay and Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.

Monet’s exceptionally long life and vast artistic production are commensurate with the magnitude of his present appeal. Impressionism, of which he is a cornerstone, remains one of the most popular creative movements, as proven by the vast mass consumption of diaries, cards, and banners. Monet’s paintings attract high valuations, and some are regarded as priceless; in fact, Monet’s art is housed in every major museum around the globe.

>

The platform that connects tutors and students

First Lesson Free

Enjoyed this article? Leave a rating.

5.00 (1 rating(s))
Loading...

Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.