Artist Images

Self Portrait
Claude Monet, Self Portrait in Beret, 1886, 21.7 x 18.1 in

Claude Monet

  • Born: November 14, 1840. Paris, France
  • Died: December 5, 1926. Giverny, France
  • Impressionist Movement

In 1851, Claude began attending school. He studied many subjects including art.

When he was a young teenager it became apparent he had artistic ability. Claude would draw caricatures of his teachers on his schoolwork and developed a reputation as a caricature artist.

Claude was in the military and during his time serving he did not paint or create art. When he returned from his service, he picked up where he left off and never stopped painting and creating art.

Claude Monet was a French painter most famously known for his important role as a leader of the impressionist movement.

In the late 1847 France a change in the arts happened when Claude Monet and a small group of other artists got together and exhibited their work. Most of their work resembled a sketch like or blurry quality, giving a view just an impression of the image.

Impressionism consisted of a style of painting using quick ,short, broken brushstrokes, pure unblended color, and an emphasis on light and color rather than realism and form. The term Impressionism was actually created after an art critic observed Monet’s Impression, Sunrise.

To capture light, impressionist artists like Monet used quick strokes of bright color. Painting outdoors (Plein Aire) was one of Monet’s trademarks. Most of his paintings are outdoor scenes of people, gardens, rivers, or buildings, captured at different times in the day. Some of his most loved are his garden scenes he painted of lilies on his pond where he lived in Giverny, France. Claude used oil paints in most of his works.

Impressionism happened at a time when was only accepted by the public and considered “good” art if the art was approved by the Royal Academy of Art. In Europe, these Royals Academies set the standard for art, telling people what kind of art is considered tasteful. To the Academy, art was only acceptable if the subject matter was an important event in history painted in a realistic and heroic style (like in the Napoleon Crossing the Alps image). Monet’s sketchy, impressionistic style changed the way France, the Royal Academy and the world viewed art and opened the door to modern artistic styles.

Important take-away: Monet was a major influential impressionist artist who made an lasting and world impact on artistic taste through introducing a new method of painting that differed greatly from what was accepted at the time.

Impression Sunrise
Claude Monet, Impression Sunrise1872. Oil on Canvas. Musée Marmatton Monet, Paris.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps
Jaques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps 1801-1805. Oil on canvas. Chateau de Malmaison.
Bridge over a Pond of Water Lillies
Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies 1899. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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