Claude Monet and his paintings

Claude Monet Photo
Claude Monet is credited with being the leading figure in the impressionist form of art. This movement originated in Paris, France, which at the time was considered the art capital of the world. He was a master at using the paintbrush to put nature on canvas. The impressionist movement, of which he was key, emphasized to painting what one felt. As a result, he served as an important inspiration to later day artists who used the abstract form of painting.

Childhood and Education

Monet was born in Paris but his father, a merchant moved to Le Havre while he was still young. Consequently, much of his young life was spent here. During his stay in Le Havre, the artist came upon Eugene Boudin, who was a painter. The man encouraged the young Monet to give landscape painting a try. However, this put him into conflict with his father. The boy's father saw as a waste of time and instead demanded that Claud Monte become a grocer. Monte had a deep passion for painting and when he disobeyed the father, he was cut off from all financial assistance. However, this encouraged him to pursue art more passionately. He had managed to save up some money from his earlier impressionist charcoal paintings. This money was crucial in helping the budding artist sail through those difficult financial times.

Early Career

Monet moved back to Paris in 1857. There he began to imitate the work of the old masters. However, this was never quite satisfying for him. He was enrolled to Academie Suisse in 1859 where he studied art. During his time there, he befriended fellow student Camille Pissarro. The young artist had to take a break from his career when he was enrolled into the French army to fight in Algeria. However, the young artist fell ill only after two years and had to leave the army in 1863. The artist got married in the year 1870 but he had to flee to London from Paris after the Franco-Prussian war broke out. Later on, the artist moved to Holland before finally returning to France. During his stay in Paris, the artist made acquaintance with other artists of the time who believed in his impressionist course.

The Impressionist Exhibit of 1874

This was the fever exhibition of its kind. During this time, he displayed a painting known as Impression: Sunrise. What was interesting about the painting is that there is only an impression of the sun rising. However, in fact, there was no sun. In addition to that, Monet was a master at depicting natural light. Of significance is that the sunlight depicted is of the same brightness as the sky. The term 'impressionist' was meant as an insult to what was viewed as not real art at the time. However, the artists embraced it and in later years, the term stuck. This first exhibition had been meant as a place to freely express their art. They were protesting the heavy criticism that artists were subjected to at the time. Essentially, they were trying to break free of the bonds that had been placed on artists. At the time, it was almost taboo for an artist to been as divulging form the established styles of the time.

Camille's Death

The death of his wife had a great influence on his art. The artist even drew a picture of her on the deathbed. He later on proceeded to paint the renowned Ice Drift set of sad paintings. However, the artist later remarried and settled in Giverny. This place was quite inspirational in helping the artist come up with some unique artwork. In the 1880s and early 1890s, the artist was doing quite financially well. This was in part due to very famous which the artist created.

Series Painting

The artist developed a unique style where he would paint an object at different times of the day. The artist was quite amazing at depicting natural light. The artist's most famous work to use this style is 'Rouen Cathedral' the paintings of haystacks and a series of painting depicting the Parliament building located in London.

Water Lilies

In the twilight of his, the artist began to create a project based on the ponds in his garden. In Giverny, the artist had created some beautiful gardens and ponds filled with water lilies. This gave him inspiration for some of the largest projects ever in the impressionist movement by a master. Called 'Grandes Decorations', the lilies were done in different light conditions as was common with Monet. In addition, the artist also depicted the water lilies in different weather conditions such as on a cloudy day. Each panel used in creating this project was about six feet in length. During this time, the artist was having problems with vision and suffered from cancer of the lungs. The entire work took over ten years to complete. When it was done, he generously donated it to the French government. This was in honor of the recognition of the end of the First World War. This was the last work the painter ever worked on, finally dying on 1926, December 5.


Monet made a positive contribution to the world. He is considered as one of the greatest artists of France. In addition, his donation of the series of lilies works was honorable. No doubt, his short stint in the army had helped to dissuade him of the evils of war. Also, the artist demonstrated that restrictions on creativity should never happen. He is proof that if one feels strongly about something, they should pursue it to the end. Early on when his father cut him off form any financial aid, most people would have given up on the idea. However, the young artist stayed the course and it eventually paid off. Not only was he incredibly rich later on but his name became immortalized. His contributions to creating a different style of art no doubt paved the way for other great artists. One of the best examples of artists he inspired in recent memory is Pablo Picasso.