"I am following Nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."

Happy birthday Monet!

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Claude Monet (November 14, 1840—December 5, 1926) was a French painter. He is remembered as one of the first Impressionist painters. He has become one of the most important artists of the late 19th century. Some of his most famous works include Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress), Impression, Sunrise; Mornings on the Seine, and Water Lilies.

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Monet was born in Paris, France to Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet. His father was a business owner, and the family was relatively well off. His father wanted Monet to take over the family grocery business, but Monet decided to instead become an artist.

In 1845, his family moved to Le Havre, Normandy and not long after, he entered the local school of the arts. He began taking drawing lessons from Jacques-François Ochard. Soon, he met Eugène Boudin, who taught him to sue oil paints and to paint "en plein air."

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On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt

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Women in a Garden

His mother died when he was sixteen years old, and the event affected him greatly. Monet returned to Paris and visited the Louvre, where he saw young painters copying the works of the greats. Instead, Monet brought his supplies to the window and painted what he saw. Some other young artists he met during this period were Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frederic Bazille.

Monet won acceptance to the Paris Salon in 1865. He didn't earn much recognition until the second time he was chosen, when officials chose his painting Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress), which depicted his future wife, Camille Doncieux.

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After the birth of their first son, the two suffered serious financial hardship. But eventually, Monet garnered the attention of Louis-Joachim Guadibert, who became a regular patron. Monet was then able to keep his family afloat.

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Monet and his family fled to England. There, he became influenced by the works of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner. By 1871, he moved briefly to the Netherlands before he returned to Paris.

In 1872, he painted Impression, Sunrise. It was from this painting that the Impressionists took their name, after art critic Louis Leroy attempted to use it pejoratively.

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When his wife, Camille, died of tuberculosis in 1879, he painted her on her deathbed: Camille Monet on her Deathbed.

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It was after her death, despite his grief, that Monet painted some of his most iconic work. The Monets had moved in with the family of Ernest Hoschedé in Vétheuil. After Camille died and the Ernest Hoschedé had become bankrupt and fled to Belgium, Alice Hoschedé (Ernest's wife) cared for the Monet children along with her own six children. Monet eventually married Alice. They ultimately settled in Giverny at a little house that had room for a studio and was adjacent to a lily pond.

While in Giverny, Monet painted some of his most famous paintings:

Rouen Cathedral,

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Poplars (series)

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Houses of Parliament (series)

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Mornings on the Seine

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and the Water Lilies (series)

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 14 November 2014
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