Claude Monet Biography
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
― Claude Monet
Oscar Claude Monet is a famous impressionist who dedicated his whole life to painting. He was the founder of French impressionism, which was the main direction of Monet’s art. Monet’s picturesque manner in Impressionism is considered to be classical. This method is characterized by separate strokes, which create lightweight pictures. In his artworks, Monet was striving to convey a momentary impression of what was happening at the particular moment.
Claude Monet was born in Paris on February 14, 1840. The boy did not have any special talents, except drawing and painting. His parents had a grocery store and hoped that their son would develop their family business and they did. Despite their wish, Claude enjoyed painting more than anything else and did not even think about becoming a grocer. The young boy got acquainted with the incredibly talented picturer and an amateur artist Eugene Boudin who influenced the development of Monet’s talent. Eugene Boudin showed Monet the basic techniques of drawing from life. Monet’s aunt, who took care of the young man after the death of his mother, encouraged the young boy to pursue his dreams and become a legendary painter.
Boudin helped the future artist to find his true vocation, which was drawing from life. In 1859, Claude went to Paris. He worked in a studio for poor artists and attended many exhibitions and galleries. In 1861, Monet was summoned for military duty in cavalry troops and sent to Algeria. While being in Algeria, Monet contracted typhus and got back home after two years of military service.
After recovering, Monet enrolled into the university to study arts. Unfortunately, he was disappointed, as he did not like their approach towards painting. Later, he started visiting the studio of famous artist Charles Gleyre and got acquainted with other leading painters. At the academy, Monet got to know Pissarro and Cezanne.
Claude Monet became famous after creating the portrait of Camille Dossier, which appeared in 1866. One more popular artwork was the picture “Breakfast on the grass.” The composition of the picture was quite simple. He depicted a group of elegant women and men near the forest. The textured strokes on the picture rendered the sensation of air movement. The artist did not have time to finish a large canvas; therefore he didn’t put the picture on the exhibition. Claude didn’t have enough money and had to sell the artwork, in order to get out of debts. Instead, the artist exhibited other painting, “The Lady in Green.” The next two-meter canvas, “Woman in the Garden,” was created in the open air. The artist dug a trench, allowing him to move the canvas up and down. He knew that the good lighting is the key to the flawless picture. He had been waiting a lot for a necessary lighting, then took his brush and started painting.
Impressionism was a true revolution in painting. To feel and convey the particular moment is the task of the Impressionist. Claude Monet was a vivid representative and the founder of the new style of painting. He was a plain-air artist, conveying the temporary beauty of the surrounding. In 1869, together with Renoir, Monet went to Bougainville in order to enjoy plain-air painting. When working on the new artworks, he used large strokes and fair shades. He decided not to mix tints and discovered unique painting techniques, new light and shade features, and the influence of surrounding shades to one another. This is how Impressionism developed.
While being in England, he met Paul Durand-Ruel, paintings’ seller. They became good friends as well as partners. During 1878, Monet created a lot of paintings, including “Impression. Sunrise”. The name of this masterpiece expresses the essence of Impressionism and is used by critics to define a new direction in painting.
Monet dedicated a lot of time to portray the views of various landscapes. He managed to convey different illumination depending on the weather, time of day and year, using various hues of the palette.To describe the paintings of the great impressionist the one should feel and understand the works. When Monet went bankrupt, he and his family relocated to Vetey. There he lost his wife and his son. In 1883, the Monet family moved to the Giverny, located on the picturesque banks of the Seine.
Monet enjoyed gardening, and after selling a few more beautiful works, he decided to expand his garden. It is also known that the famous was a gardener and spent 43 years to create a breathtaking back yard. He once said: “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” During the last years of his life, Monet was painting in his garden a lot and tried to achieve perfection while depicting the beauty of nature. It also helped him to acquire new techniques. While trying to capture changeable lighting, he had to paint several pictures at the same time. In order to manage with this, he painted one picture half an hour, then started working on another one. For example, a series of his paintings of Cape Antibes contains the morning, midday, autumn, summer and spring illumination.
As to his personal life, Claude Monet was married twice. His first wife was Camille Dossier. They had two children. After the death of his beloved wife, the artist fell in love with Alisa Hoschede, who eventually became his second wife. Alice did in 1911.
During his long life, he had two operations on his eyes, after which his color perception changed. After operations, he spent a lot of time in the garden, depicting a mysterious world of water and plants. The artist died in Giverny on December 5, 1926, from lung cancer at the age of 86.