Claude Monet – His Life

Claude Oscar Monet was born in Paris on 14 November 1840. He grew up in Le Havre, a town on the north-west coast of France. Monet began painting there. Already at school Monet was known for his caricatures.

Claude Monet later met the canvas dealer Eugène Boudin, who encouraged him to paint outdoors and gradually awakened his passion for outdoor painting. Monet loves nature and the sea.

In 1859 Monet went to Paris, to the Académie Suisse. He met Camille Pissaro there. In 1861 he was obliged to serve in the military for seven years. He fell ill with typhoid fever, however, and in 1862 he terminated his military service for health reasons. He returned to Le Havre to recover. His aunt encouraged him to continue studying art. During this time he met Johan Barthold Jongkind and worked with him. From this time comes the following quotation: “I owe to him the final education of my eye”.

Claude Monet – a new style of art emerges

Due to the Prussian-French war he and Pissaro move to London. Pictures of the Thames and Hyde Park are created. William Turner´s He is strongly impressed by his work. In Paris, together with the artists Pissaro, Bazille, Renoir and Sisley, he formed an artist community that is today regarded as the founder of Impressionism. In 1874, Monet exhibited one of his works in Paris, called “Impression, Sunrise”. This painting, with its extremely strong colours for his time, was considered unfinished by the critics. It was then mockingly called “Impressionism” – based on the title of the picture with the meaning of “unfinished and still raw impression / impression”. This event is regarded as the birth of this new art movement.

The Japanese woodcuts, which arrived in Europe around 1850, had a great influence on Monet’s picture design. Monet’s financial situation is modest at first and for a long time, and the profit from his art is far from sufficient for him to live on. In 1883 Monet presented his works for the first time in an official solo exhibition in London.

Art of Impressionism

In this year he buys from his first financial profits his house in Giverny near Paris and lived there. The flower garden of his house, which he designed down to the smallest detail, became the inspiration for many of his paintings in his last years. Claude Monet suffers from cancer and rheumatism at the end of his life. He could only see very poorly and underwent several operations on his eyes. But he continued to paint until his death on December 6, 1926. Until the end of his life, at the age of 86, he kept his impressionistic style.