Claude (Oscar-Claude) Monet
(1840 - 1926)
Claude (Oscar-Claude) Monet was active/lived in France. Claude Monet is known for impressionist landscape painting.
Claude (Oscar-Claude) Monet
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Biography from the Archives of askART
Claude Monet was born in Paris on November 14, 1840. When he was
five years old, the family moved to the port town of Le Havre. For much
of his childhood he was considered by both his teachers and parents to
be undisciplined and therefore, unlikely to make a success of his
life. When he was a fifteen, scornful of the quiet earnest
pictures Boudin was painting, they met and Boudin, overcoming the
younger man's resistance, urged him to study landscape. Together
they worked outdoors in the lovely Norman countryside around Le Havre
and Monet became a "plein-airiste" (open-air painter) almost against
his will - an ironical fact since it was he who later so fanatically
advocated the practice of painting out-of-doors. Boudin
generously and modestly taught Monet whatever he had gleaned, and long
years afterward, when they were both successful, Monet acknowledged his
Biography from Modern Art Dealers
Dissuaded by Boudin from going on with his lucrative but
limited work in caricature, Monet determined to become a serious
painter. With this decision began years of struggle against
poverty so bitter that he often had no food for himself or his family,
and what was almost worse, no money for paints and canvas. His
parents were not initially against his going to Paris to study, but
they imposed on him such stringent regulations about submitting to
academic training that their attitude amounted virtually to
opposition. He refused to take regular courses at the Ecole des
Beaux Arts, attending instead the so-called Academy Suisse, a kind of
sketching class run by a former model, and exchanging ideas with the
lively company that congregated at the Brasserie des Martyres, one of
the eating places favored by artists and authors.
military service in Algiers, he came to Paris for a second time and
made the acquaintance of Renoir, Sisley and Bazille at Gleyre's
studio. He exhibited in 1865 at the Salon. In 1871 he
visited London with Pissaro where they both came under the influence of
Turner. The first showing of his collected work was held in 1880,
although in 1877 he and his friends had already come to be known as the
Impressionists. Of them all, he was perhaps the most influential
and the most versed in the various theories of the new technique.
revered as the quintessential impressionist when he moved to Giverny in
1883, Monet continued to develop different modes of painting even when
surrounded by a stifling number of disciples. In the 1890s he set
himself the task of repeating mundane subjects under every conceivable
kind of light. Although Monet is usually depicted as a hermit
isolated from social concerns, he subscribed to two clippping services,
attesting to his keen interest in knowing how his works were
received. Moreover, he chose the subjects of his paintings of the
1890s with a "savvy eye toward the art market."
wife, Camille Doncieux, bore him two sons, Jean and Michel. His
liaison with her had estranged him from his family. She died in
1879, and on July 16, 1892, Monet married Alice Hoschede, whose sister
Suzanne was Monet's preferred model. Alice's husband, Ernest had
left her when he had some financial reversals. She was pregnant
with her sixth child when he abandoned her; with eight children between
them, Monet and Alice moved away and eventually settled in Giverny.
1883, Monet rented the property at Giverny, and seven years later he
bought it. He became a model of the master of the house, a strong and
loving father to all of their children and a devoted mate (he and Alice
were to marry later). Fame came to him as well as many shows and
sales and a great deal of money. He bought the property across
the road where he enlarged a small pond to make his water garden.
Eventually he employed six gardeners.
Monet was a cultivated man
with a cosmopolitan outlook. His friends, writers and artists, poets
and composers, came to visit at Giverny where the food was good, with
wine well chosen and the conversation relaxed. In 1923 he underwent two
cataract operations. They partially restored his eyesight but
left him with veiled vision and distorted color perception. Still
he continued to paint; his internal vision seemed as clear as ever.
was eighty-six, on December 5, 1926, when he died, a driven old man,
almost blind with cataracts, preyed upon by terrible fits of
depression. He considered that his entire life had been a
failure. He insisted that his one achievement was to have worked
directly from nature. He often painted from memory in a manner
identical to his paintings from nature.
One day in the late
1960s, Monet's son Michel Monet, then an octogenarian, was killed
driving back from a visit to his wife's grave. He had inherited
his father's collection of paintings and kept most of it in his
secluded country home and nobody had seen it for forty years. He
occasionally sold one of the paintings when he needed money. But
most of it was intact, and he respected his father's wishes in that he
left the collection (which included some works by Delacroix, Boudin and
Renoir) to the Musee Marmottan in Paris, a drab institute open to the
public only occasionally. His father never forgave the Louvre for
ignoring him, and this was his way of getting back at the most famous
museum in France.
Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
The Annenberg Collection: Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Masterpieces of Art: Catalogue of the New York World's Fair 1940
Master Paintings from the Phillips Collection
Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures: French Impressionists
R.H. (Robert Hughes?) in Time Magazine, July 19, 1971
ARTnews, May 1990
Monet on the Mediterranean by Helen Dudar in Smithsonian Magazine possibly November 1994
"The Gardener of Giverny" by Mary Blume in ARTnews, April 1978
Oscar-Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris. He spent his childhood in the Normandy coastal town of Le Havre, where his father prospered as a grocer and ship chandler. In 1860 Monet met the landscape artist Eugène Boudin, who introduced him to plein-air painting, and he began to produce increasingly ambitious and naturalistic work.
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In 1859, Monet moved to Paris, where he attended the Académie Suisse beginning in 1860. He returned to Le Havre in 1862, and worked in the plein-air mode alongside Eugene Boudin and Dutch painter Johan Barthold Jongkind. In 1862 he returned to Paris to enroll in the studio of Charles Gleyre, where his fellow students included Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. Despite some success, financial difficulties forced Monet to return to his family in Le Havre.
In 1878, with financial troubles looming and his wife gravely ill, the Monets embarked on an unorthodox joint household arrangement in Vétheuil. By 1890 Monet was financially secure enough to purchase a house at Giverny, later adding adjacent land and installing both a water-lily garden and Japanese bridge, which he would later paint in series.
Monet passed away in December, 1926 at the age of 86.
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