Tribute to Claude Monet

French painter Claude Monet was Born November 14th 1840. He was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant). In 1851, Monet entered Le Havre secondary school of the arts. Locals knew him well for his charcoal caricatures, which he would sell for ten to twenty francs. Monet also undertook his first drawing lessons from Jacques- François Ochard, a former student of Jacques-Louis David. On the beaches of Normandy in about 1856/1857, he met fellow artist Eugène Boudin, who became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints. Boudin taught Monet “en plein air” (outdoor) techniques for painting.

When Monet traveled to Paris to visit the Louvre, he witnessed painters copying from the old masters. Having brought his paints and other tools with him, he would  go and sit by a window and paint what he saw. Monet was in Paris for several years and met other young painters who would become friends and fellow impressionists; among them was Édouard Manet. Disillusioned with the traditional art taught at art schools, in 1862 Monet became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. Together they shared new approaches to art, painting the effects of light en plein air with broken color and rapid brushstrokes, in what later came to be known as Impressionism. Monet’s Camille or The Woman in the Green Dress (La femme à la robe verte), painted in 1866, brought him recognition and was one of many works featuring his future wife, Camille Doncieux; she was the model for the figures in Women in the Garden of the following year, as well as for On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt, 1868.

After the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War , Monet took refuge in England in September 1870, where he studied the works of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner, both of whose landscapes would serve to inspire Monet’s innovations in the study of color. In the spring of 1871, Monet’s works were not included in the Royal Academy exhibition. In May 1871, he left London to live in Zaandam, in the Netherlands. He also paid a first visit to nearby Amsterdam. In October or November 1871, Monet moved to Argenteuil, a village on the right bank of the Seine river near Paris, and this was where he painted some of his best known works. In 1872, he painted Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) depicting a Le Havre port landscape. It hung in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 and is now displayed in the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.  the term “Impressionism” was coined from the painting’s title the painting titled Boulevard des Capucines was also in this exhibition.

Monet married Camille Doncieux and, after visiting London and Zaandam, they moved to Argenteuil. It was during this time that Monet painted various works of modern life. In 1878 Monet moved to the village of Vétheuil. in March 1878 Camille gave birth to her second child Michel Monet, Sadly though On 5 September 1879, she of died tuberculosis at the age of thirty-two. Monet painted her on her death bed & After several difficult months following the death of Camille  a grief-stricken Monet (resolving never to be mired in poverty again) began in earnest to create some of his best paintings of the 19th century. In April 1883, whilst  looking out the window of the little train between Vernon and Gasny, he discovered Giverny, and in 1883, he moved to Vernon, then to a house in Giverny in Normandy, where he lived the rest of his life, the barn doubled  as a painting studio, and it was here that he painted several groups of landscapes and seascapes in what he considered to be campaigns to document the French countryside. His extensive campaigns evolved into his series’ paintings.   with the surrounding landscape offering many suitable motifs for Monet’s work  and Monet’s fortunes began to change for the better and Monet became prosperous enough to buy the house, the surrounding buildings and the land for his gardens.

During the 1890s, Monet built a greenhouse and a second studio & from the 1880s  through the end of his life in 1926, Monet
worked on “series” paintings, in which a subject was depicted in varying light and weather conditions. His first series exhibited as such was of Haystacks, painted from different points of view and at different times of the day. Fifteenof the paintings were exhibited at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1891. He later produced several series of paintings including: Rouen Cathedral, Poplars, the Parliament, Mornings on the Seine, and the Water Lilies that were painted on his property at Giverny.Monet was fond of painting controlled nature: his own gardens in Giverny, with its water lilies, pond, and bridge. He also painted up and down the banks of the Seine, producing paintings such as Break-up of the ice on the Seine.  Between 1883 and 1908, Monet traveled to the Mediterranean, where he painted landmarks, landscapes, and seascapes, such as Bordighera. He painted an important series of paintings in Venice, Italy, and in London he painted two important series—views of Parliament and views of Charing Cross Bridge. His second wife, Alice, died in 1911 & It was during this time that Monet began to develop the first signs of cataracts. During World War I,  Monet painted a series of weeping willow trees as homage to the French fallen soldiers.  Sadly Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 at the age of 86 and is buried in the Giverny church cemetery. His home, garden and waterlily pond were bequeathed by his son Michel, & then to the French Academy of Fine Arts (part of the Institut de France) in 1966. Through the Fondation Claude Monet, his house and gardens were opened for visits in 1980.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.