Claude Monet was a renowned French painter who is accredited with the foundation of the French impressionate painting. He is also considered to have been a prolific and consistent practitioner of the philosophy associated with the impressionate movement. This movement was named after his famous painting, the impression sunrise. Born in Paris on November 14, 1840, Monet was the second born son to Claude Monet Adolph and Lady Justine Aubree Monet. However, his family moved from Paris to settle in Normandy in 1845. Claude Monet’s parents wanted to see him grow into a businessman, but he had different aspirations to pursue. He was impressed by art work and had the talent to become an artist. His mother was a renowned singer in her local church.
Monet started school early in life, and in 1851, he joined Harve secondary school of arts to pursue his arts careers and gain a formal education. He sold some of his work, especially the charcoal caricature to some local people at ten to twenty French pounds of the time. His first drawing lessons in this school were provided to him by one Orchard François jack, who happened to be former students of Jacques-Louise David, a renowned artist of the time (WebMuseum 1). He met his long time mentor Eugene Boudin at the beaches of Normandy in about 1856 or 1857. Boudin also taught Monet how to paint with oil paints rather than charcoal. He also introduced him to en Plein Air or outdoor painting techniques, where both received the influence of Barthohold Jongkind. At the age of sixteen, Monet left school and went to live with his aunt, a windowed woman. This was after his mother died in 1857 (WebMuseum 1).
Monet’s life was not much as straight as the other painters of the time. He at once joined the military, first as a regiment of African Calvary in Algeria, a North African nation which France had colonized. He spend seven year in this filed, but returned to France to pursue his career as a painter (WebMuseum 1). In Paris, Monet had witnessed some famous painters as well as their students copying the work of others, especially their masters and other famous painters who happened to have painted earlier, and who had done quite recognized work as per the standards of the time. However, he disliked this, and embarked on painting what he saw. He would especially sit by the window of his aunt’s house, and try as much as possible to paint what he would see in the natural sunlight. While still in Paris, Monet met several other young painters, who like him were trying to make a living through selling their work to the local people (WebMuseum 1).
While in the military in North Africa, Monet had contracted typhoid fever, which saw his health weaken, to an extent that his aunt intervened to get him resign from the army. However, his aunt had settled a deal with him that she would only intervene if he would agree to rejoin school and pursuer formal education. The aunt had received this idea from the famous Dutch painter Johan Barthold Jongking at Paris. However, Monet did not like the convention kind of art that was taught to schools at the time, and in 1862, he decided to join Charles Gleyre in Paris. Here he met Pierre Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Bazille Frederic. The three shared new art approaches, especially through painting with en plen air using broken color and brushstrokes. This later became to be known as impressionism.
Monet’s painting of the Camille (woman in the green dress), became one of the famous painting of his career. This work was actually featuring his future wife Docieux Camille, who happened to be a model the women in the green garden the year that followed (1867). She later became pregnant with their first child Jean Claude (Tucker 122).
The artwork of impression came after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, which broke out in 1870. Monet had sought refuge in England, Great Britain in September of 1870. Here he studied the art works of John Constable and Mallord William Turner, famous British painters of the time. These two persons also inspired him with their study of color. In 1871, his work was refused for authorization in the royal academy exhibition. He later left London for Zaandam in Netherlands after realizing that in London, were completely in competition with each other, and tried as much as possible to disapprove or outdo each other work (Tucker 105). In Netherlands, Monet made about twenty five paintings, which made the police suspect him of being associated with revolutionary movements in the country. Within this time, he would also visit Amsterdam, a city known for paintings. Later, from 1871 to 1878, Monet lived in Argentile near Paris, where he involved himself in painting and selling his work to Parisians who went here for Sunday outing. However, he returned to the Netherlands in 1874 for only few months before returning to Argentile (Tucker 121).
The impression movement started in 1872 when he painted the impression sunrise, which he did to depict Le Havre landscape of its port. He submitted it in the public display exhibition in 1872 in Paris, and up to now it is still a famous antique painting in the Marmottan museum in Paris. This painting was criticized by the renowned art work critique of the time, Louse Leroy, who also coined it the name impressionism, trying to dismiss his work. However, the impressionists used this name to market themselves widely in France and beyond. Within this exhibition, other work by Monet included the boulevard des Capucines, which he had done it from the Nadars apartment in boulevard. There were also other famous paintings by various other artists, but one is that history has not shown which work won the exhibition famed that year (WebMuseum 1).
Monet also painted his own family members, which he hung from his house and those of his friends, he would also paint persons in their natural states, including when in happy and sad moods, or when working (WebMuseum 1). He proved to be a courageous painter when he painted his wife Camille on her death bed, just few days before she died in 1879 from tuberculosis. She had suffered a lot, and it is thought that he was affected by her illness, which had taken toll of her health for quite some time (Klein 34).
The death of Camille also prompted Monet to involve himself in activities aimed at looking for riches. He had realized that her death was probably due to his poverty, which prohibited him from looking for a place with good life for her to live in. Monet decided to create impressive paintings which would search for money for his upkeep. He embarked on painting landscapes, seascapes and other places, and all which portrayed the good nature of France. He campaigned for the documentation of France and the French in the outside world though his famous paintings (Klein 56).
Monet’s children were not rich either. They had lived with their families to which they married in, but some of them lived with Monet, and the family became large. He lived with his this large family in Giverny from 1883 in a rented house surrounded by two acres. Within this large compound, Monet built his own painting barn and studio, from where his famous works were developed. With the help of his family, he set up one of the best studios of the time, an actually became fortunate selling the works local markets and to the foreigners in Paris. In 1890, he bought his own house, later the surrounding buildings and several other gardens for his work. 1n the turn of the 1890s, Monet had built several studios in his premises, where the famous green studio was located (Klein 56). He sold several series of paintings, which displayed several views at different times of the day, the moths and the year (WebMuseum 1). His aim was to display stories of people and the nature in France using paintings. These became increasingly famous in France and beyond, mainly because he embarked passing information using series of paintings. He first displayed the ‘painting series’, the Haystacks, in 1891. Later, more than fifteen of these series were exhibited in for the public, and became e very famous. One of the later series he produced was the Poplars, Parliament, water lilies and Moring of seine (Klein 56).
Monet was known for painting the nature, from hills. Mountains, the cities, the sea, the mountains, market to people, animals and other objects. He embarked more on painting the nature as it is rather than imaginary objects probably this was the reason that his fetch little money for his upkeep during his early years, but his later tendency of painting the series became very famous since people would purchase multiple works with an interest of knowing what painting followed the other (WebMuseum 1). In his later years, Monet became quite famous not only in France but across Europe, with some of his famous work crossing borders into Russia and the united states of America. Monet’s work can be considered to be one of the famous works in the 19th century, mainly because few painters of the time produced painting series. In the modern times, this can be considered to be equivalent to film series (Tucker 135).
Adam, Klein. Claude Monet. London, ABDO, 2007.Print
Tucker P. Claude Monet: life and art. Mason, OH, 1998. Print.
WebMuseum. Impressionism. 2006. Web 26 march 2011. < http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/glo/impressionism/>