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Claude Monet - Father of Impressionist Art

Updated on May 22, 2010
Claude Monet
Claude Monet

Artist Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. He was the youngest son of Claude-Adolphe and Louise-Justine. In 1851, he attended Le Havre Secondary School of the Arts and made money on the side drawing charcoal caricatures. He also took drawing lessons from Jacques-Francois Orchard, a former student of the artists Jacques-Louis David. In 1856, Monet befriended the artist Eugene Boudin who became his mentor. He also met Edouard Manet around the same time.

Claude Monet joined the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in 1861 but left in 1863 after contracting typhoid. He then studied with artists Charles Gleyre, who numbered among his students Renoir and Sisley. Along with these artists, Monet helped to promote the Impressionist style. His painting Impression: Sunrise is widely seen as the first Impressionist painting and responsible for the name of the movement.

In 1866, Monet’s Woman in the Green Dress was well received by the art critics. The painting features his future wife, Camille Doncieux whom he married in 1870. Their son Jean was born in 1868 and they welcomed a second son Michel in 1878. Camille died shortly after giving birth to Michel in 1879 of tuberculosis.

During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Monet moved to London where he studied artists such as Constable and Turner. He returned to France in 1871. After the death of his wife Camille, Monet and his sons lived with Alice Hoschede and her six children. They moved several times finally settling in Giverny in 1883. Monet and Hoschede married after the death of her husband in 1892; she died in 1911, followed by his son Jean in 1914.

While at Giverny, Monet created a beautiful garden that is still open to the public today. It is featured in many of his paintings.

By 1923, Monet was suffering from cataracts. Claude Monet died on December 5, 1926 of lung cancer.

The paintings of Monet are still popular today. In 2008, Le Bassin aux Nympheas sold for almost $74 million. His gardens in Giverny are visited by thousands of tourists every day.

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies 1899

Monet's Waterlillies by Robert Hayden

Monet's Waterlilies

Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.

Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.

O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy.

Robert Hayden

Impression: Sunrise 1872

Garden Path 1902

Water Lilies 1920-1926


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  • megni profile image

    megni 5 years ago

    Great Hub. A good biograhy and well written. One of my favorite artists, too. Some say at the time of his life his bad eyesight caused some of the bleery look to his art; no matter, the pictures are dream-like and absolutely mind absorbing.

  • Coolmon2009 profile image

    Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

    Beautiful images and video I like this article.

  • dali48 profile image

    Wolfgang G. Greiner 8 years ago from Germany

    Thank you for your Hub about Monet - he is one of my favorite painters - as the whole "Impressionism"! (d.48) ...

  • profile image

    Kym 8 years ago

    I too am a huge fan of color. I love Monet, especially Bridge over water lilies. I am thankful for these hubs. Thank you for the Utube programs. I enjoyed them.

  • Everyday Miracles profile image

    Becki Rizzuti 8 years ago from Indiana, USA

    I agree with Lissie, I love the color. But then I'm a huge fan of color in general!

    I've said it before, I really do like this series of hubs that you're doing. I don't get the opportunties that I would like to go to museums because my daughter won't tolerate it for long, and I miss it!

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Yes, I saw Monet's waterlilies when I was in Chicago (or was it London?) whatever it was amazing. I saw a lot of the Impressionists when the Barnes Exhibit was touring. Definitely my favourite style.

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Love your impressionist hubs--- Some of my favorites.

    I also saw a Monet exhibit in Los Angeles... nothing like seeing one of those great expansive water-lily ponds in life size virtual reality.

    Beleive it or not, I have a degree in Art History, but have always found it hard to write about in hubs. You do a great job.

  • agvulpes profile image

    Peter 8 years ago from Australia

    Uninvited writer, I just love Monet's style and fell in love with his garden the first time I saw a photo of his painting.

    I was fortunate a few years ago to go to an exhibition here in Melbourne of some of his works and other painters.

  • profile image

    C. C. Riter 8 years ago

    Oooh. thanks you for this hub. love Monet and it was really a pleasure reading your wee bio on him. Good job. hmmm, tho't I might have been a fan, will be now and I wish you the best of luck on this new hub challenge dear

  • Lissie profile image

    Elisabeth Sowerbutts 8 years ago from New Zealand

    I love his colours - I have done a few needlework pieces based on his paintings - about as close as Ill ever get!