Claude Monet

CLAUDE MONET- SELF PORTRAIT
CLAUDE MONET- SELF PORTRAIT
"IMPRESSION SUNRISE"
"IMPRESSION SUNRISE"
CLAUDE MONET
CLAUDE MONET

Impressionism


If someone wishes to impress you, their wish is to convey a vivid picture of themselves, to leave you with an impression of who they are. The picture they give you can take many forms, it can be a characteristic, a trait, or a feature. The art of impressionism isn't so very different from the desire to leave an impression, thus, its name.


Impressionism embraces the changing qualities of natural light, and it takes enjoyment from the way that light changes the hues of color we see in our environment, blues, greens, reds, yellows, oranges; the shimmer of the moon; the glistening of the sun, still water and reflections. Moments are captured rather than planned, brushstrokes are quick, messy, and visible to the eye. Subject matter is ordinary, and yet at times can seem to be unrealistic, but only if you're standling too close to the canvas........... Back up a few steps and look again................. !


The word Impressionism originated from a painting titled, "Impression Sunrise," and it's artist, the French painter Claude Monet, was not only one of the creators of the movement, but one of its greatest members as well.

AUGUSTE VACQUERIE (1854)
AUGUSTE VACQUERIE (1854)
CARICATURE OF A MAN WITH A BIG NOSE (1855-1856)
CARICATURE OF A MAN WITH A BIG NOSE (1855-1856)
CARICATURE OF HENRI CASSINELLI (1858)
CARICATURE OF HENRI CASSINELLI (1858)
CLIFFS AND SEA, SAINT-ADRESSE, (1865)
CLIFFS AND SEA, SAINT-ADRESSE, (1865)
ON THE BANK OF THE SEINE, BENNECOURT (1868)
ON THE BANK OF THE SEINE, BENNECOURT (1868)

The Younger Years

Claude Monet was born in Paris (1840), although his fifth birthday found the family heading for the seashore, and a small shipping village named Le Havre, in Normandy. Claude's father owned a grocery, and his father was determined that Claude would follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be. Claude wanted to become an artist.

Living near the docks, watching the ships, and the constant stream of new people moving through Le Havre's small port made Claude's life quite interesting. While in school, Claude spent more of his time drawing pictures of his teachers than anything else. What he felt he lacked in intellect was quickly covered by his quirky sense of humor. In fact, that sense of humor was the basis for his initial artwork. Monet, gave a whole new definition for the word "caricature," and he gave those he caricaturized a form of immortality. Monet earned his first commissions hiring himself out as a caricaturist.

Monet enjoyed the income from his drawings, but it wasn't until Normandy's well-known local artist Eugene Boudin introduced himself that he found his true love; the love of painting. Boudin encouraged Claude to take his work "outside." They lived amidst the erratic beauty of the sea, beaches were wild and free, ships would come and go; life in Le Havre was most abundant when breathing in the fresh air and ocean breeze. Studios were stuffy; the light was unnatural and uncooperative. Boudin taught Monet a variety of techniques (Boudin worked exclusively on plein air paintings), and he encouraged him to journey to Paris for study, and after a brief stint in the French Army, he did just that.

In 1862, Claude left his home for Paris, but unhappy with his studies, and even unhappier with the traditional styles taught by the masters at the university, he soon moved onto to study with Charles Gleyre, the famous Swiss painter whose studio was at the "Rue de Universite." Gleyre is most well known for his decorative panels, Diana Leaving the Bath and Young Nubian, but to Monet, Renoir, and a host of other students he was a teacher, a teacher who never took payment or reward. Charles Gleyre considered himself a mentor, he considered his salon an artist's haven. And he loved the artistic and political conversations that ensued within what he saw as his own personal social club.

While studying with Gleyre, Monet struck up lifelong friendships with other artists; Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisely, and Frederick Bazille. Monet also shared with his contemporaries the love he'd garnered for painting outside, and they regularly made trips to the countryside where they painted together. Not so many years before this would have been difficult, but John G. Rand's (American portrait painter and inventor) invention of the "paint tube" in 1841 literally liberated the artist. Paint no longer had to be purchased as dry pigments, grinding was no longer necessary, and storage (pig bladders or animal skin) was no longer an issue. Paint had become mobile, and artists had gained freedom. Artists were now able to work outside showing little regard for the weather; fog, sun, twilight, or sunrise......... and they were able to capture the changing quality of light which enabled them to create an impression of reality. Renoir once said, "Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism."





WOMEN IN THE GARDEN
WOMEN IN THE GARDEN
THE CRADLE
THE CRADLE

Monet the Artist

Like other Impressionists, Monet's work was not particularly appreciated by the more traditional judges at the Salon in Paris. Occasionally, his entries found acceptance, more often than not, they didn't. The use of Gleyre's studio was cost efficient; Gleyre had open an open door policy for the members of his artistic circle. Gleyre's models were also immediately available, and Monet made use of their low costs........ it seems the models were able to double dip; their presence alone allowed more than one artist to use them for inspiration. It was a win/win situation; the artists had models, and the models had a steady income..........



Monet's favorite model was a woman named Camille Doncieux. If you look closely at the painting Women in the Garden, you will see that each of the women in the painting share one thing, and that would be Camille's face. A few years after the painting's completion Monet would make his muse his wife. Many of his future paintings bear both her likeness and the likenesses of their children. Six years later Camille died, and her grieving husband immortalized her just one more time.

CAMILLE MONET ON HER DEATHBED (1879).  AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THIS PAINTING MONET TURNED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY TO LANDSCAPES. THIS PICTURE WAS STILL HANGING IN HIS ROOM WHEN HE PASSED ON 47 YEARS LATER.
CAMILLE MONET ON HER DEATHBED (1879). AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THIS PAINTING MONET TURNED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY TO LANDSCAPES. THIS PICTURE WAS STILL HANGING IN HIS ROOM WHEN HE PASSED ON 47 YEARS LATER.
DAS PARLAMENT IN LONDON
DAS PARLAMENT IN LONDON
LA PROMENADE SUR LA FALAISE
LA PROMENADE SUR LA FALAISE
GARE SAINT-LEZARE (1877)
GARE SAINT-LEZARE (1877)

Perfecting the Art


Following Camille's death, Monet began to work in earnest producing numerous pieces of art. The Salon of Paris didn't appreciate Monet's work, nor the work of the other members in his group. Truthfully, the public turned their backs as well, preferring paintings that focused on historical perspectives, paintings that told a story, paintings that showed their subjects in clear, sharp images. Viewers weren't gravitating towards the simple beauty of a landscape or garden; they didn't understand the brushstrokes that couldn't be deciphered upon close examination; they simply didn't like it, but the artists worked on, and today, the viewer appreciates them for the ordinary, everyday beauty they depict. They are quite simply, masterpieces!


But back to Monet, undaunted by public opinion he continued to perfect his chosen medium. He was captivated and obsessed with a desire to capture the reflection of sunlight, to convincingly portray the shadows emanating from a nearby tree. In the painting Gare Saint-Lazare, he was even able to realistically capture the dampness of the steam as it escaped the engine of a train. If his goal was perfection; I think he reached his goal.

THE GARDENS AT GIVERNY

The Later Years

"I have always loved the sky and water, leaves and flowers... I found them in abundance in my little pond."

Claude Monet

Monet's artistic side did not end with the joyful completion of a canvas; his love of beauty and nature ran far deeper and found many outlets, and one has only to glance at the paintings so lovingly done during the later years of his life to find proof of his true genius.

Extensive travels fueled Monet's passion for gardening, and the gardens at his home, Giverny may have been his greatest accomplishment. Giverny's gardens are a place of peace; they're the truest definition of eye candy. Bright colors, intricate planning, and nature's perfect pond. Monet carefully planned the beauty it holds, carefully choosing the garden's flowers to compliment the seasons, picking each bulb, vine, annual, and perennial so that their colors would blend, so that each season would welcome new life.

1892 found Monet expanding the grounds of his home. His purchase was a small piece of land just across the road, and his purchase would prove to be his most ambitious project. By diverting a small stream of water Monet was able to create a pool; that pool would soon become a water garden. Surrounding the pool with carefully chosen flowers, reeds, bushes, and willow trees Monet created a small paradise; he also created what would be his greatest inspiration.

Fascinated by water and the way sunlight consistently cast ever changing reflections on its surface was irresistible. A bridge was erected, water lilies found a new home, and Monet went to work. He found solace in his home; he found inspiration in his surroundings, and in the last twenty-five years of his artistic career he painted more than 250 canvases of his waterlily pond.

If we find beauty in Monet's gardens, I can only imagine what he saw in the Japanese paintings and prints that sparked his own creation. Never having traveled to Japan, Monet's admiration was derived from the numerous Japanese landscapes he viewed in Paris shops, but it wasn't just admiration; Monet had a collection of over 200 Japanese prints at the time of his death, all hanging on the walls in his home.

Claude Monet passed away on December 5, 1926; he was 86 years old. What you've seen here is only a portion of his legacy.......... visit a galley, google an image, but do enjoy what he's left us.......... you'll find it was worth it!

NYMPHEAS
NYMPHEAS

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Comments 30 comments

Kendall H. profile image

Kendall H. 6 years ago from Northern CA

It is undeniable the legacy of Monet's art and rightly so. He is my favorite painter and I could spend hours just watching the lilly pads at Giverney. This is my favorite of your artist hubs. Wonderful!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Ah Monet! Lovely hub about a gifted artist.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Oh, my daughters and I love Monet! When his exhibit was in Atlanta, they went to see it. Unfortunately, I couldn't get off work at the time.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Monet is my favorite artist. Beautiful hub.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Kendall H.- I am happy to have hit upon your favorite! :-D He is indeed special, and I would happily move into to his gardens any day............ do you think they'd let me pitch a tent? It's no wonder he was so happy there, or that so many of his most breathtaking canvases were painted in that very spot. Why would anyone ever need to leave it?

Thank you,

Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

breakfastpop- thanks so much.......... I'll be stopping by for leftovers very soon......... see you then!

Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

habee- your daughters have great taste and eyes for beauty.......... they were very lucky, and I'm sorry you couldn't join them. I saw the exhibit maybe five or six years ago at the Art Institute; it was fabulous! Hopefully, you'll see it next time around.......... and I will hopefully get to see it again if it comes back!

Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Tammy- Monet has a very large following........... and you have a great eye for art!

Thanks for stropping by,

Kaie


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

This is a truly lovely Hub published by what is obviously a truly lovely lady! :D

Thank you for the excellent gallery and as always your writing is the best in town. I never knew that Monet did caricatures! Several of the paintings you presented I have never seen before. All in all—a joy to behold.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I really enjoyed reading this great story about an artist whom I have long loved. I was also not aware of his caricatures and enjoyed them very much. I have a little book that I dip into from time to time when I want some inspiration. It's called Monet's Garden and it's beautiful.

Thanks a lot for this uplifting and beautiful story.

Love and peace

Tony


sarovai profile image

sarovai 6 years ago

claude monet art and life history impressing one. Thank u Kaie Arwen for sharing Great things in simple form.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

James- Thank you, lovely? You should see me right now ;-)

I think Monet's caricatures are some of his best work. They have a number of them at the Art Institute, but I don't think that they're all on display. Caricatures are something that I have never been able to do, but have always wanted to conquer; I guess I just don't have the eye! Always wanted to do my dad's :-D Better I didn't he might not have found it funny............ it would have rivaled "the man with big nose." (giggles!)

Happy you enjoyed!

Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Tony- Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and the art. His caricatures are fabulous- go to the Art Institute of Chicago's website- they have a number of them in their archives.

You are very welcome!

Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Sarovai- I am happy to share; his life and works are indeed impressive! Glad you stopped by!

Kaie


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Nothing like Monet art! One could feed for days on his beautiful creations... such gifts he shares...

Thank you for the hub.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

K9keystrokes- If I could have anyone paint murals on the walls in my home it would be Monet............ it would be like living in a fairy tale.......... now that would be a beautiful place, but I guess we'll have to settle for what he's left us, and it my case that would mean a few very well placed prints!

Thanks for stopping by........

Kaie


Ign Andy profile image

Ign Andy 6 years ago from Green Home Office

My first encounter with Monet is "impressionism sunrise" when I was in junior high. Your hub brought back old memories, thanks K.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Ign Andy- Happy to bring back memories especially if they're good ones!

Thanks, K


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Great images - great memories of my times in Paris - thanks Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

billyaustindillon- Thank you, I'm glad it brought back memories............. and you are welcome!

Kaie


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Hi, Kaie! I have always loved Monet's work and luckily, his art travels frequently and there have been many chances to see this brilliant artist's work up-close and "live." In fact, an exhibit in Las Vegas showed some of his cartoon-like sketches, similar to those you have displayed toward the top of your hub here. These are so magnificent and it was delightful to see such an unusual aspect of his work. The painting of his wife is very haunting, and it is extremely beautiful in its own way.

And, how can you not love this man's landscapes? The beautiful colors and perfect compositions just call to me.

Thanks for showing some of the more non-traditional aspects of Monet's work!!!

Mike


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Mike- I truly love Monet's work.......... if I could walk into any garden in the world............... I'd be hopping across the lily pads :-) I love his caricatures; many are here at the Art Institute, but sadly, they aren't on display. You were lucky to have seen some of them in Vegas. The out-of-the-ordinary always draws me in, as artists are so much more than what we perceive them to be. Looking at the most famous or most popular works of an artist is a joy, but those works aren't what I would always consider their best........ look at me; I've become a critic! Nah, just know what I like!

The painting of his wife is my personal favorite........... it is haunting, and yes, it is very beautiful. Ethereal in its own way..........

Thank you for stopping by, and you are very welcome!

Kaie


Gift Experts profile image

Gift Experts 6 years ago

Your hubs take me back to that game where you have paintings, can't recall the name, wow!


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Gift Experts- I'm not familiar with that game, but it sounds like fun! Might be a nice game to have a school if you can remember the name. Thanks for the "wow!" It's appreciated.......... Kaie


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Monet is so well known, but there's still more to learn about him. I really enjoyed these paintings, Kaie


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

katyzzz- I'm glad you enjoyed the paintings and glad you stopped by! Kaie


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

You add so much to the background knowledge of famous artists like Claude Monet and in such a warm conversational tone. I really enjoy reading your hubs and learning things that I did not previously know...like his caricatures. Thanks!


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

Peggy- I'm glad you enjoy the Hubs; I love looking into the background of these artists and trying to figure out the things that have inspired or possibly influenced their work. The caricatures are wonderful, and actually one of my favorite forms of art. Thanks for stopping by, and you are very welcome! Kaie


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Delightful. I have a book on Monet - and yet you showed me paintings I have never seen. Very well done and excellent research - you are a superb writer and researcher!


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago Author

GmaGoldie- Thank you very much! I'm happy to have shown you something you may not have seen before............ thanks for coming by! Kaie

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