Famous Monet Oil Paintings

A Rare Monet Self-Portrait

Claude Monet Self-Portrait, on his boat
Claude Monet Self-Portrait, on his boat | Source

The Life and Times of Claude Monet

Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1840. His father wanted him to go into the family grocery business, but Claude, who was nicknamed "Oscar" by his parents, had other plans.

Claude wanted to become an artist. His mother was a singer, and so she encouraged him, though his father thought it wasn't a practical occupation. The family moved to Le Havre, in Normandy, when Claude Monet was about 11 years of age. He attended a secondary school of the arts in Le Havre, and was mentored by Eugene Boudin, who taught him how to use oil paints, and took him to the beach at Normandy, to learn outdoor techniques for oil painting.

Even in his early teens, Monet managed to sell charcoal sketches and caricatures to tourists for a few francs.

In January of 1857, Claude's mother died, and he he moved back to Paris to live with an aunt. He was 16 years of age at the time, and just beginning to find his artist's voice in painting. Claude Monet was the founder and mainstay of the brand-new Impressionistic school of painting. What happened was this--when he moved back to Paris, he saw all the other artists of his generation at the Louvre, diligently copying the Old Masters, and making artwork in imitation of the Old Masters. Claude Monet looked out the window instead, and painted what he saw there.

Claude Monet volunteered for military service at the age of 20 years. This was typical of his generation of Parisians, as the French had a mandate for military service for single young men. It was either voluntarily join the army or get married! There were exemptions for certain occupations but not that of an artist.

Claude Monet saw military service in Africa, in Algeria. He signed up for the whole seven years with the First Regiment of African Light Calvary (can you picture Claude Monet on a horse?) but only served two years, having contracted typhoid fever.

Water Lilies

Arguably the most famous of all Monet Paintings--"Water Lilies" 1906, now housed at the Art Institute of Chicago
Arguably the most famous of all Monet Paintings--"Water Lilies" 1906, now housed at the Art Institute of Chicago | Source

When Claude Monet returned to Paris from Africa, he met some seminal artists who were also disenchanted with traditional oil painting techniques. In the middle 1860s Claude Monet was friends with Pierre-Auguste Renoir and a student of Charles Gleyre. They focused on painting light--the exact rendering of the subject wasn't as important in the painting as the treatment of light and shadow; they used quick, short brushstrokes and dabbles of different colors to create this rippled, dappled, soft-focus effect, called Impressionism.

Monet's first experience of critical success in the art world was "Camille" or, "The woman in the Green Dress"--"La femme a la robe verte"; painted in 1866. Camille Doncieux, the model for the painting, would later become his wife.

Of all the many Monet paintings, and Monet was a prolific artist who lived a long life, I love the ones of Camille the best, though they are probably not the most well-known or notable of his paintings. You can tell THESE pictures were painted with love, and Camille has a completely enchanting face.

Ah-pictures of Camille

Camille Monet, again "Camille, with Child in Garden"
Camille Monet, again "Camille, with Child in Garden" | Source
Woman in a Green Dress
Woman in a Green Dress | Source
Camille Monet in Japanese Costume
Camille Monet in Japanese Costume | Source
Camille Monet on her deathbed
Camille Monet on her deathbed | Source

Camille Monet gave birth to their first child, Jean Monet, in 1868 and in 1870, the family moved to England at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war. Claude Monet was fascinated by John Constable's paintings, also William Turner's. Their paintings influenced Monet to develop Impressionism to a higher art and refine landscape techniques, making more vivid color a keynote of the painting.

The Monet family remained exiled from France for the duration of the Franco-Prussian war; moving briefly to the Netherlands; visiting Amsterdam, but eventually finding themselves back home in France, in 1871, in a village on the banks of the Seine, near Paris, called Argenteuil, where they settled down happily. Monet's 1872 painting, called "Sunrise" hung in the very first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, in Paris.

Camille Monet died of tuberculosis in September of 1879. She was the mother of two sons, having given birth of Michel Monet in March of 1878.

Claude Monet mourned her deeply. He moved; first to a house of friend in Vetheuil who helped him by looking after the children; later to Poissy, which Monet disliked on sight, and then finally to a lovely home in Giverny, in Normandy, where Claude Monet made the garden which was either the backdrop or the focus of much of his most famous works of art.

The More Famous Monet Oil Paintings

Haystacks
Haystacks | Source
Le Bassin aux Nympheas
Le Bassin aux Nympheas | Source
Poppy field at Argenteuil
Poppy field at Argenteuil | Source

Which Monet is more familiar to you?

  • Haystacks
  • Water Lilies
See results without voting

Monet for the Money

By the late 1890's, Claude Monet was rich enough to buy the house in Giverny, which he was only renting for the past ten years or so. His property had a painting studio in the barn; it had orchards and gardens and fields of poppies and lovely deep ponds with water lilies.

To the end of his life, Claude Monet was a highly respected and successful artist. His paintings sold well, and he had the time and leisure to develop serial paintings of the same subject, whether it be fields of poppies or water lilies or scenes from Venice, Italy, or the Rouen Cathedral, in different lights at different times of day, and using different color schemes.

Claude Monet died on December 5, 1926, in his beloved Giverny home, of lung cancer, at the age of 86 years. His former home at Giverny now attracts tourists from all over the world; it is maintained by the French Academy of Fine Arts.

His painting ""Le Bassin Aux Nympheas" sold at Christie's in London for a phenomenal $80,451,178.00 in June of 2008, making it the highest price for a work of art ever sold by Christie's in Europe.

Where does this $80 million dollar painting rank in the list of the most expensive paintings ever?

  1. No 5, 1048 by Jackson Pollock (approx. 140 million dollars)
  2. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt (135 million dollars)
  3. The Scream by Edvard Munch (119 million dollars)
  4. Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust by Pablo Picasso (106.5 million dollars)
  5. Man with a Pipe, by Pablo Picasso (104.1 million dollars)
  6. Dora with a Cat by Pablo Picasso (95.2 million dollars)
  7. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh (82.5 million dollars)
  8. Le Bassin Aux Nympheas by Claude Monet (approx 80.5 million dollars)
  9. Bal Au moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (78 million dollars)
  10. Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens (76.7 million dollars)

Which Monet do you like best?

  • Haystacks
  • Water lilies
  • Pictures of Camille
  • Other
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 43 comments

Susan Hambidge profile image

Susan Hambidge 2 years ago from Hertfordshire, England

Really nice hubs. I am lucky - I have seen quite a lot of his canvases and my appreciation grows all the time.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 2 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you for the comment. I do so much agree.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 2 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Lucky you! Thank you for the comment.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 2 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you so much!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Wonderful article on Monet. He is my favorite Impressionist painter and I have one if his reproductions I my home. I have also written a piece on the Impressionist movement, featuring Monet. His work is timeless.


VVanNess profile image

VVanNess 2 years ago from Prescott Valley

I have several of Monet's paintings in my home. I love this one!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I loved looking at these Monets. Your images are so vivid, next best thing to the art gallery. Interesting write up as well.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

beautiful tribute to Monet... I love the color in Camille with the child in the garden !!!! :) Thank you for a lovely post.


IslandBites profile image

IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

Nice hub. I love Monet's Weeping Willow.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

I love his work. It's like Beethoven's music--it will last forever.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I was drawn to this hub simply because Monet is my favorite artist. This is a wonderful bio of a genius in art. Thank you for teaching me more about this wonderfully creative man.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, and I do too.


precy anza profile image

precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego

Beautiful paintings! ^-^' Love the poppy field and the one in the garden :)


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Torys Ten. I'm glad you enjoyed it and you are exactly right!


Torys Ten profile image

Torys Ten 4 years ago from Central Utah

I enjoyed your hub on Monet. His paintings are rich in color and immersive and easy to like. Keep up the good work.!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks, Mandy.


mandypoole profile image

mandypoole 4 years ago from UK

Very interesting, very informative hub


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

You're welcome. Thank you much fo rthe comment.


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures, and the story of this celebrated French painter. Voted up and beautiful. :)


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Greetings, Sannel, and any friend of epi's is a friend of mine. Thank you so much for the visit and I'm glad you enjoyed it.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you again, my friend.


Sannel 4 years ago

Monet is my favorite Impressionists, and I'm so glad that my dear friend Epi, brought me here so that I could enjoy this beautiful and interesting article myself. In the 80's and 90's, I visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city many times, and needless to say, I spent hours studying Claude Monet artwork. I remember reading this quote by him; " I paint like a bird sings, in every harmony." And he really did, it shows so clearly in all his paintings. I love all of his work reflecting his beautiful garden and as Monet said " I've grown used to the flowers in my garden in the spring and the waterlilies in my pond on the Epte in the summertime. They give flavor to my life every day." I would say that Monet's garden still brings us beauty and flavor to our everyday life and for many, many generations to come.

Thank you for a delightful article my dear. I truly enjoyed it,

Sannel


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

I'll listen to you anytime ......that's what friends are for - and it's just so great to see you back at the Hub - and good luck with the apprentice program ..... lake erie time 10:56pm


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Epi, I missed you, too. I've really been fighting the fight with some ongoing lung issues in addition to the same old back problems I've experienced since I was injured in my early twenties. What happens is, I can't sleep very well, and then have a struggle to accomplish anything at all the next day. I bundle with a book for hours and hours--giving totally new meaning to the word "couch potato"!

However, I recently joined up with the HubPages apprenticeship program to be doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING! I hate to spend my life so idly. Also, I've published quite a few hubs and still really don't make much money, and I thought the apprenticeship will teach me how to improve that situation. Sorry to ramble on and on about myself. You're such a good listener! LOL!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....well dear friend I am in Monet heaven and so will my good buddy the lovely Sannel when she arrives here - needless to say I have missed you here at the Hub and I am wondering how you've been feeling - I sincerely hope you are better and I will be posting this 'beauty' of a hub presentation to my FB group Let's just talk music and cinema - and sending warm wishes to you and good energy too from lake erie time ontario canada - 9:51pm and I must also tell Sannel about her great great aunt Coco Chanel(I see another hub here too) - you see , she is Coco Sannel ......


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you for the comment, Jama. I love them both, too.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you for the comment, Phil. I love that picture! Just love it--it is so tender.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Monet and Degas are my favorite Impressionists. Thank you for this most informative hub about the former! ;D


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

I have a Monet print, Camille with the girl, same as your photo in the hub, hanging in my house. Indeed he was a huge influence on a large number of painters. Great informative hub, voted up and interesting.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, doc. I was thinking the same thing, about his charcoal sketches that he sold for 20 francs. Millions. Just millions! Don't we wish we had one. I wouldn't sell it.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Thank you, Paradise, for this lovely treatment of one of my favorite painters, Claude-Oscar Monet. That was his baptized name but his parents called him Oscar. I always had a special feeling for him not just because of his artistic talent but we shared the same birth month and date - Nov. 14 - not the year!

His earliest paintings when he was only 15 were excellent true-to-life caricatures. Any of those if available today would be probably priced in the millions as well.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Rochelle.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

I happened to see a full size original of one of Monet's water lily paintings in Los Angeles in the 60's-- Nothing like seeing the real work in real size!! It was incredible.

Even in photographic re-creation it looks quite spectacular. He was one of those artists that make us look at real life with new eyes.

Quite a remarkable feat to retain such vision in turbulent times. Thanks for a glimpse of the details of his life.

(tweet/pin)


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

E, I think I saw the same paintings in MOMA that you did. We might even have fallen in love at the same time!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

You're very welcome, Anne.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you for the comment, I'm so glad we can appreciate the same artist.


eHealer profile image

eHealer 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Hi Paradise, I love Monet, and water lilies has always been my favorite. When I was a child, I saw a few of his paintings in the NY museum of art, and fell in love with him. Thanks for such a beautiful article with the things of my childhood. Thanks you, Voted Up and awesome.


annerivendell profile image

annerivendell 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Ah, Claude Monet is one of my favorite! Thank you for an enjoyable hub!


HaleyMCruz profile image

HaleyMCruz 4 years ago from California

Ah I love his artwork. My favorite though is Woman with a Parasol. I got to see it in person once, Smithsonian in D.C. I think, and it just captured my attention so much that I had to get a small print of it. I love all of the artwork you featured here, too :)


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, Frank. Anytime! You're free to visit, kiddo, no charge!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you for the comment, Sunnie. So do I!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

thank you for opening your museum love the hub and the paintings


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

I truly love Monet's paintings. He is one of my favorite artists. This was an excellent hub and I learned so much about him. Thank you

Sunnie

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