- NAME: Claude Monet
- OCCUPATION: Painter
- BIRTH DATE: November 14, 1840
- DEATH DATE: December 05, 1926
- Did You Know?: Monet attempted suicide in 1868—one year after his first child was born—by trying to drown himself in the Seine River.
- Did You Know?: In 1918, Claude Monet donated 12 of his waterlily paintings to the nation of France to celebrate the Armistice.
- Did You Know?: Though they became friends later in life, Claude Monet claimed in an interview that Eduoard Manet at first hated him because people confused their names.
- EDUCATION: Academie Suisse
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Giverny, France
- Full Name: Oscar Claude Monet
- AKA: Claude Monet
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Claude Monet was a famous French painter whose work gave a name to the art movement Impressionism, which was concerned with capturing light and natural forms.
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Ernest spent much of his time in Paris, and he and Alice never divorced. Monet and Alice moved with their respective children in 1883 to Giverny, a place that would serve as a source of great inspiration for the artist and prove to be his final home. After Ernest's death, Monet and Alice married in 1892.
Monet gained financial and critical success during the late 1880s and 1890s, and started the serial paintings for which he would become well-known. In Giverny,
he loved to paint outdoors in the gardens that he helped create there. The water lilies found in the pond had a particular appeal for him, and he painted several series of them throughout the rest of his life; the Japanese-style bridge over the pond became the subject of several works, as well. (In 1918, Monet would donate 12 of his waterlily paintings to the nation of France to celebrate the Armistice.)
Sometimes Monet traveled to find other sources of inspiration. In the early 1890s, he rented a room across from the Rouen Cathedral, in northwestern France, and painted a series of works focused on the structure. Different paintings showed the building in morning light, midday, gray weather and more; this repetition was a result of Monet's deep fascination with the effects of light.
Besides the cathedral, Monet painted several things repeatedly, trying to convey the sensation of a certain time of day on a landscape or a place. He also focused the changes that light made on the forms of haystacks and poplar trees in two different painting series around this time. In 1900, Monet traveled to London, where the Thames River captured his artistic attention.
In 1911, Monet became depressed after the death of his beloved Alice. In 1912, he developed cataracts in his right eye. In the art world, Monet was out of step with the avant-garde. The Impressionists were in some ways being supplanted by the Cubist movement, led by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
But there was still a great deal of interest in Monet's work. During this period, Monet began a final series of 12 waterlily paintings commissioned by the Orangerie des Tuileries, a museum in Paris. He chose to make them on a very large scale, designed to fill the walls of a special space for the canvases in the museum; he wanted the works to serve as a "haven of peaceful meditation," believing that the images would soothe the "overworked nerves" of visitors.
His Orangerie des Tuileries project consumed much of Monet's later years. In writing to a friend, Monet stated, "These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me. It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel." Monet's health proved to be an obstacle, as well. Nearly blind, with both of his eyes now seriously affected by cataracts, Monet finally consented to undergo surgery for the ailment in 1923.
As he experienced in other points in his life, Monet struggled with depression in his later years. He wrote to one friend that "Age and chagrin have worn me out.
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Derived from Claude Monet's piece entitled Impression, the term "impressionism" was created to describe the work of a select group of Parisian painters in the late 19th century. With their thin brush strokes and explosion of color and lighting on mundane subjects, impressionists painters like Monet, Mary Cassatt, and Alfred Sisley confounded critics, defied conventions, and sparked scandal. A century and a half later, they are among the most revered and influentional artists of all time.
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