The Life and Work of Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a French painter whose career spanned half a century. His style was innovative and influential, and he was one of the leaders of the Impressionist movement. He was instrumental in bringing together Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Edouard Manet to work alongside each other in Paris during the 1870s and ’80s. Monet also was the founder of the group’s exhibition society, which showcased the works of the Impressionists between 1874 and 1886.
The son of a grocer, Monet began drawing caricatures when he was 15 and quickly became an accomplished artist. He had a flair for the humorous and was especially skilled at depicting the sea and the rapid changes of Norman weather, which would become the foundation for his later work. By 1862, he had earned enough money to quit his job and move to Paris, where he studied at the studio of Charles Gleyre with students such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Frederic Bazille.
Monet was not a good student and disliked the strict discipline of the established art of his time. He wanted to paint what he saw, not what was taught in the classroom, and he developed his technique by working outdoors. He departed from the clear depiction of forms and linear perspective typical of the period, instead experimenting with loose handling and bold colors to convey different aspects of his subjects.
In 1870, he married Camille and they moved to a house in the village of Giverny near Paris. The property included a garden and an adjacent field that provided a constant supply of motifs for his paintings. Monet also rented a nearby farm to provide the family with a steady income. By 1890, he was prosperous enough to purchase the house and land for his gardens.
For Monet, the gardens became a way to control nature and create the effect of light that was so characteristic of his style. During his lifetime, he painted over 150 landscapes in the Giverny area. These are considered his “series” paintings, where he repeated the same subject many times in varying weather conditions and from different points of view to capture the effect of light on the landscape.
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Claude Monet was a French painter whose career spanned half a century. His style was innovative and influential, and he was one of the leaders of the Impressionist movement. He was instrumental in bringing together Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Edouard Manet to work alongside each other in Paris during the 1870s and ’80s. Monet…