Claude Oscar Monet
French artist
November 14, 1840 - December 5, 1926

Parisian-born on Novermber 14, 1840, Claude Oscar Monet would be known locally as Oscar, but eventually revered throughout the world as Claude Monet -- Father of the Impressionist Movement. Upon entering a course of study at LeHavre Secondary School of the Arts at age 11, Claude Monet would build a reputation for himself among the locals as a talented charicaturist, selling his charcoal drawings for 10-20 francs apiece. He learned more about drawing, followed by oil painting techniques, from fellow artists, Jacque-Francois Ochard and Eugene Boudin (respectively). After his mother’s death in 1857, Claude Monet would live briefly with his aunt, Marie-Jeanne LeCadre, who would be influential in his further pursuits in artistic instruction just a few years later.

In 1862, after a short stint in the army, a bout of Typhoid fever, and at the insistent urging of his aunt, Monet would become a student of Charles Gleyre. This influence, combined with shared creative ideas with a small group of fellow students and painters, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, would lead to new techniques with brushstrokes and light-play. This new style of oil painting would quickly gain popularity, as well as followers, and Impressionism was born.

Monet is perhaps best known as the impressionist painter of water lilies and, most notably, the work entitled Impression, (Impression, Soleil Levant). It is actually the title of this famous painting from whence is derived the name of the artistic movement; Impressionism.

Throughout his career, however, Claude Monet became known for a vast array of subjects featuring his signature feathery brushstrokes and ethereal light-play. Among his most notable works are masterpieces such as A Coastal View with a Bay, Bridge at Argenteuil, Garden at Argenteuil, Camille in Japanese Dress, Canal Grand, Garden at Giverny, Antibes Seen from La Salis, Artist’s Garden at Vetheuil, Breakfast, Haystacks 1, Haystacks 2, and 3, Haystacks in Snow, Flowering Apple Trees, Fisherman’s Lodge at Verengeville, Heap of Hay in the Field, Durchbrochener Rock at Etretat, Madame Monet and Child, Parlaiment in London, Pleasure Boats at Argenteuil, Poppies, Poppy Field in Summer, San Giorgio Maggiore of Venice, Sunrise, The Water Lily Pond (Japanese Bridge) 1, and Tulips of Holland.

The remarkable paintings of Claude Monet are differentiated between the early portion of his illustrious career and the latter portion by the colors he preferred to work with; each phase of his career providing further insight into his vision and imagination. In the early years, Monet worked mostly with dark colors, while all of his paintings which were created after 1860 feature much lighter colors. At age 68, Claude Monet developed cataracts on both of his eyes and began gradually losing his sight. He continued to paint his masterpieces, however and, while there is evidence of his deteriorating eyesight in some of his later paintings, he embodied pure talent even in the face of this disability. His paintings Japanese Bridge (1897) and Waterlily Pond (1923) are prime examples of what this artist could create on canvas even without the benefit of full sight.

Modern day art lovers and critics, alike, appreciate the masterful oil paintings of Claude Monet for their signature, feathery brushstrokes and play of light.

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