Claude Monet By Amanda Shen

Early Life of monet
  • Born into a grocer family in November 14th, 1840, in Paris, France
  • Moved to live in le Havre, along the Normandy coast at the age of five, which planted the fresh vision of nature into Monet's young heart
  • Started studying drawing with a local artist at the age of 15, with the suggestion from his amateur painter aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre
  • Introduced to paint from nature by Eugène Boudin in 1856
  • Entered the studio of Charles Gleyre in Paris in 1859, and met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley and started the early impressionism style of painting - the radical paintings of what they felt about the views and nature
  • Later on, married to his wife Camille.
The start of impressionism

Impression, soleil levant, Claude Monet, Oil on canvas, 1872, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Monet's early works were done with "abbreviating strokes, improvised at the moment of perception". He would often observe the same subject for multiple times in a day, and depict the great abstraction of the same subject under different conditions and times with numerous sequences of paintings. No paintings ever before, has committed to canvas "in such a direct manner". During 1870s, Monet left his family during the Franco-German War, and "continued his pursuit of natural phenomena". He traveled and painted in the Netherlands and le Havre between 1871 and 1873.

The Museum at Le Havre 1873, Claude Monet

He then returned to Paris and "the years he lived there mark the height of the Impressionist movement".

Snow Scene at Argenteuil 1875, Claude Monet
the development of Monet's impressionism

Later years, Monet started to focus on depicting the industrialized scenes in his works. Although still using the same motifs of his early impressionism - using different light and weather conditions to represent emotion, his paintings began to focus on the mechanical subjects. Monet traveled to London, Venice, Vétheuil, and Normandy, painting engines, architectures and bridges. With all his works in these different places, the perfect subjects for impressionism merged - the light, water, movement, architecture, and reflections in the water. Through salons and galleries, Monet presented his art works in exhibitions to people at that time.

Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare, oil on canvas by Claude Monet, 1877
Le Parlement de Londres, soleil couchant, 1903, National Gallery of Art Washington, DC.

Last years of Monet
  • In 1893, Monet bought a strip of marshland in Giverny, and began constructing it into a water lily garden.
  • Monet was deeply influenced by the traditional style of Japanese prints, therefore, even though Monet almost never left Europe, in his Giverny garden, he surrounded himself with Japanese style bridges and designs.
  • After the construction, this garden became the inspiration of Monet's impressionism works for the last 30 years of his life.
  • Monet produced great amount of paintings of water lilies from 1916 to 1925. These water lilies, “Les Nymphéas,” "were among art history’s greatest last acts. With their direct transcriptions of the countryside, the water lilies dispense with contours and boundaries and veer toward abstraction".
  • In his last years, Monet had failing eyesight due to cataracts, and died in December 5th, 1926.

the Influence of monet in the world

Monet's Influence During His Time

Although Monet's radical style of painting was criticized by many Europeans during his time, Monet's art served as a great inspiration and influence on new revolutionary artists at that time like Van Gogh and Bernard. In fact, the term "impressionism" is actually derived from the title of his painting, Impression, soleil levant. In addition, his revolutionary and abstract artworks were particularly embraced by the Americans during his time. His style of impressionism painting was adopted by many American artists later, and his method soon became an element in American Modern art.

Monet's Influence Now

Monet's impressionism became popular across the world since the late 20th century. With his works shown in tour exhibitions and displayed in museums, Monet gained the reputation as "one of the most significant and popular figures in the modern Western painting tradition". Although Monet was trained as a 19th-century realist, it became accepted by the world that he was indeed a genius who helped pioneer the 20th-century belief of fundamental subjective vision and modern art. His water lily garden in Giverny is also being visited by more than 500 000 visitors each year during the seven months that it is open. "Everyday Visitors walk on the side alleys and can walk all around the garden to admire all its perspectives".


"Claude Monet." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

"Claude Monet." The National Gallery. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017. "Giverny Monet's Garden." Claude Monet's Garden at Giverny. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

Jones, Jonathan. "There Is No Such Thing as Too Much Monet | Jonathan Jones." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 07 July 2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

Solomon, Deborah. "The Story of Claude Monet's Water-Lily Masterworks." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Dec. 2016. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

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