NOVEMBER 14, ON THIS DAY
My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions before the most fleeting moments. —— Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a French impressionist painter who revolutionised modern painting by emphasising light brushstrokes, vivid colours, and uncomplicated nature. Monet is hailed as one of the best and most influential artists of all time. He is famous for his landscape paintings and works depicting the same scene in several instantaneous atmospheric circumstances. Known as the “Father of Impressionism,” Claude Monet launched one of the most significant artistic movements in history. His revolutionary work continues to influence contemporary artists and aesthetic trends. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise.
Oscar-Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. As a kid, after his family relocated to Normandy, he started painting. After becoming well-known for his satirical depictions of his professors and locals, Monet met landscape painter Eugene Bodin, who showed him how to paint outside. As a result, Monet relocated back to Paris and enrolled at the Academie Suisse. Here, he immersed himself in the Barbizon style, which stressed doing outdoor preliminary sketches before bringing the canvas inside to paint the natural world in a controlled environment.
La Femme à la Robe Verte, Claude’s first significant work that gained him notoriety in the art world, was completed in 1866. Undoubtedly, Impression, Sunrise is Claude Monet’s most well-known work. However, as it is the movement’s namesake, Impression, Sunrise is also the piece to be familiar with! It was finished in 1873, marking a significant moment in art history and paving the way for countless other pieces to follow. The Artist’s Garden at Giverny, Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son, Poppies by Claude Monet, San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk, The Water Lily Pond, Luncheon on the Grass, Women in the Garden, Boulevard des Capucines, The Rue Montorgueil in Paris and Regatta at Sainte-Adresse are some of his famous paintings.
In order to continue his experiments with light, Monet painted a series of the same scenes. He would paint them at different times of the day and in different types of weather. He painted a series on haystacks, the Rouen Cathedral, and the London Parliament. Monet started working on his biggest undertaking near the end of his life. At his Giverny residence, it was a series on the pond. It included a variety of enormous paintings of the pond in various lighting and environmental settings, including dawn, dusk, and clouds. He referred to it as the Grandes Decorations. The total height and length of all the panels when they were finished was almost 6 feet. During much of the project, Monet was suffering from bad eyesight and lung cancer. He spent the last ten years of his life on the project and donated it to France in honor of the end of World War I.
Monet passed away in Giverny, France, on December 5, 1926, leaving behind a sizable body of work that art lovers continue to adore. The French government installed Monet’s final waterlily series in specially designed galleries at the Orangerie in Paris soon after his passing. Monet was one of the greatest modern painters. Throughout his lengthy artistic career, he produced a large amount of work and kept growing and innovating. His works depict the unspoiled beauty of nature and the rural ideal. The next generation of artists had access to entirely new methods thanks to Monet and the impressionists’ inventiveness.