Claude Monet

Claude_Monet_1899Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.

Born: November 14, 1840, Rue Laffitte, Paris, France
Died: December 5, 1926, Giverny, France

Monet grew up in Le Havre where, in 1858, he met Eugène Boudin who encouraged him to paint from nature, en plein air (out of doors). The following year Monet met Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne while studying at the Académie Suisse in Paris. After military service in Algiers he returned to study in Paris in the studio of Charles Gleyre, and met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Jean-Frédéric Bazille, with whom he painted at Chailly, near Fontainebleau. In the late 1860s Monet and Renoir worked together and produced the first pure Impressionist paintings, the best known of which is Monet’s Impression: Sunrise 1872, the painting that gave the Impressionists their name. In 1883 Monet settled in Giverny where he created a remarkable garden that was to be the subject of his last great series of works, culminating in the panoramic series of paintings Nymphéas (Water Lilies), housed in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris

Argenteuil, 1875 Oil on canvas 56.0 x 67.0cm. Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
Argenteuil, 1875 Oil on canvas
56.0 x 67.0cm. Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris

Monet returned to France from London in 1872 and settled in Argenteuil (a town on a picturesque stretch of the Seine, eleven kilometres from central Paris), where he lived until 1876. His contemporaries Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet and Alfred Sisley joined him and, for a time, Argenteuil became a hub of artistic activity. It was during this time that Monet created some of his most characteristic paintings. In order to observe the effects of sunlight on water more closely, Monet often worked from a boat-turned-studio. In Argenteuil, the rust-red boats, painted in contrasting colours to the blue water and sky and the green water plants, are depicted surrounded by shimmering light – perhaps the true subject of the painting

 

 

Paintings 1858–1872

Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), 1872; the painting that gave its name to the style. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), 1872; the painting that gave its name to the style. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

 

Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1865–1866
Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1865–1866

 

Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur, 1865, Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena, CA
Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur, 1865, Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena, CA

 

Jardin à Sainte-Adresse, 1867 Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jardin à Sainte-Adresse, 1867
Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Woman in a Garden, 1867, Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Woman in a Garden, 1867, Hermitage, St. Petersburg

 

La Grenouillére 1869, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
La Grenouillére 1869, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;

 

The Magpie, 1868–1869. Musée d'Orsay, Paris
The Magpie, 1868–1869. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

 

Jean Monet on his hobby horse, 1872, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Jean Monet on his hobby horse, 1872, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

Paintings 1873–1879

 

The Studio Boat, 1874, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands
The Studio Boat, 1874, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands

 

Argenteuil, 1874, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C
Argenteuil, 1874, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C

 

Flowers on the riverbank at Argenteuil, 1877, Pola Museum of Art, Japan
Flowers on the riverbank at Argenteuil, 1877, Pola Museum of Art, Japan

Monet’s garden

Agapanthus, between 1914 and 1926, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Agapanthus, between 1914 and 1926, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Water Lilies, 1906, Art Institute of Chicago
Water Lilies, 1906, Art Institute of Chicago
Water Lilies and the Japanese bridge, 1897–99, Princeton University Art Museum
Water Lilies and the Japanese bridge, 1897–99, Princeton University Art Museum
Water Lilies, c. 1915, Musée Marmottan Monet
Water Lilies, c. 1915, Musée Marmottan Monet

Late Paintings

Water Lilies and Reflections of a Willow (1916–19), Musée Marmottan Monet
Water Lilies and Reflections of a Willow (1916–19), Musée Marmottan Monet
Weeping Willow, 1918–1919, Columbus Museum of Art
Weeping Willow, 1918–1919, Columbus Museum of Art
The Rose Walk, Giverny, 1920–22, Musée Marmottan Monet
The Rose Walk, Giverny, 1920–22, Musée Marmottan Monet
House Among the Roses, between 1917 and 1919, Albertina, Vienna
House Among the Roses, between 1917 and 1919, Albertina, Vienna

Series of paintings

The Cliffs at Etretat, 1885, Clark Institute, Williamstown
The Cliffs at Etretat, 1885, Clark Institute, Williamstown
Poplars at the River Epte, 1891 Tate
Poplars at the River Epte, 1891 Tate
Grand Canal, Venice, 1908, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Grand Canal, Venice, 1908, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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