Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Style: Impressionism

Lived: November 14, 1840 - December 5, 1926 (19th - 20th century)

Nationality: France

Monet was born in Paris, France on 14 November 1840. He was baptized as Oscar-Claude, but his parents simply called him Oscar. His family moved to Le Havre in Normandy when he was five. His father wanted him to go into the family grocery store business, but Monet wanted to become a painter. Eugène Boudin taught him some painting techniques in 1856.

Monet servedin the army in Algeria. His aunt agreed to get him out of the army if he took an art course at a university. He left the army, but he didn't like the traditional painting styles the university taught.

In 1862 he studied art with Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir with whom he founded the Impressionist movement.

Monet married one of his models, Camille Doncieux. They moved to a house in Argenteuil, near the Seine River, after they had their first child. After six years in Argenteuil Camille died of tuberculosis. He painted her on her death-bed. Monet then moved to a house with a large garden in Giverny, in the Haute-Normandie Region.

In 1872 Monet painted Impression, soleil levant, which was hung in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. It is said that a hostile critic used the name 'Impressionists' from the title of this picture by commenting that their paints were indeed 'impressions' rather than finished works of art. By 1876 the painters were using the term about themselves.

He married Alice Hoschede in 1892, whom he had an affair with while he was married to Camille.

In the 1880s and 1890s Monet painted a series of paintings of the Rouen Cathedral at different times of the day from different points of view. Twenty views of the cathedral were exhibited in 1895.

Monet was exceptionally fond of painting controlled nature - his own garden, his water lilies, his pond, and his bridge. As Monet's wealth grew, his garden evolved. He hired several gardeners whom he wrote daily instructions. He also painted up and down the banks of the Seine.

Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 at the age of 86.

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