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Claude Monet and his paintings

Claude Monet Photo
Claude Monet was born in 1840, and still to this day, is probably one of the most well known French artists, and is well known for the impressionist movement which he was a part of, during the late 19th century. Paris was the main focal point of his art work, and his long and illustrious career. In the works he created, he would depict the city, the beautiful landscape, the scenery, and leisure activities the city is known for. Normandy was also a point of interest that he took, in the works that he created during the course of his career. Claude Monet was a leader into the 20th century, with his new form of modernism painting, and developed a unique style which many artists depicted in works following his. The ability to perceive nature, and how it works, was the focal point of this new approach he took to creating his artwork in this period.

Claude Monet was raised in Normandy, and was initially introduced to painting by Eugene Boudin, who was known for his work that depicted the Channel Coast. Monet eventually studied under Johan Jongkind, who was a Dutch landscapist as well. At the age of 22, Monet had joined a famous school for French artists, that was run by Charles Glyere; a number of famous future impressionist painters were a part of Monet's class, and studied in the same institute to learn the basics of the art form, and the artwork they would be depicting in this style of art.

Early on in his career, Claude Monet only enjoyed a limited amount of success for the works he created. Many of these depicted landscapes and seascapes, and certain portraits of his were accepted into exhibits, in the 1860s. However, many of the famous pieces that became well known later on in his career, were not accepted early on, due to the fact this his style of art had not been accepted in his time. During many exhibits, much of his work was scolded, and was not accepted by the art community, until a period after his career had come to a close. Claude Monet, and others during this time, took this insult and rejection as an honor, and they coined the name impressionists, to depict the type of art that they were creating, which had never been seen before.

With most of his work, Claude Monet turned to figures that he was familiar with, and would paint people and figures that he knew in the works he was creating. Both his first wife Camille, and second wife Alice, were commonly used as models and as test subjects for the new creations and pieces of art that he was creating early on in his career. He traveled quite a bit from France to London, and small surrounding cities during this part of his life, and eventually made his way to Giverny in 1883. Many of the homes he lived in served as molds to work with and create art; not only for Monet, but also for many of his famous artist friends (Manet and Paul Cezanne), who worked during this period as well.

Claude Monet followed the style of Barbizon painters, and took a close approach with working with nature, the outdoors, and natural elements in general. However, unlike the Barbizon painters who worked on a small scale, Monet focused on the largest easels and canvases, and when he had a base sketch, he would later perfect the art forms in his studio. Many European conventions were also rejected by Claude Monet, namely because he wanted to capture nature in its purest form, and exactly as it appeared. So, the European approach to bold colors, design styles, and abstract art, was something that he turned away from, as he made more of a real life image of what he was seeing, and the images that he was creating in his art forms.

Two dimension assortments, and asymmetrical arrangements with his work, were also inspired by Japanese wood block prints; and, he abandoned the notion of 3D elements, and worked with linear forms in most of the work he created. Tones and shadows were created using a broad range of colors, and light colored primers were also a main tool used on canvases, rather than the darker grounds that were typically used for traditional paintings.

During this period, Claude Monet would paint the same site over and over, in order to depict the manner in which an image would change on a daily basis, and would change based on the time of the day that he was painting it. Monet rented a room that was across from the Rouen Cathedral, in order to be able to capture the same image, and capture it at perfect angles, at different tones of lighting, and at the right time, to depict the changes in the subject that he was working on. By 1894, he had completed the Rouen Cathedral artwork which is one of his famous art series, and had created them on the ideal canvas for display at large.

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. ”         - Claude Monet

By 1910 and 20, Monet took focus on the water lily pond which was created at his Giverny home. Mural sized canvases, which depict the pond, was his final piece of work. This piece depicts an abstract view of the pond, and the flowers, and he used broad color strokes, to help build texture, and depict the image in a particular setting. This final work created by Claude Monet was taken by the French government, and was used as a centerpiece at a museum. Orangerie in Paris is where the final series of the water lily portraits were placed, to depict the final work of the well respected painter. These pieces were taken by the French government in 1926, shortly after his death, and they are still on display in this famous museum, which also depicts other works which were created by the famous painter Claude Monet, until this day.

Masterpieces of Claude Monet

  • Impression Sunrise
  • Sunset in Venice
  • Water Lilies
  • The Magpie
  • The Garden of Monet at Argenteuil
  • Cliffs and Sailboats at Pourville
  • The Artist's Garden at Giverny
  • The Poppy Field near Argenteuil
  • Path Through the Corn at Pourville
  • The Cliff, Etretat, Sunset
  • Tulip Fields
  • Sunflowers
  • Waterlily Pond with Japanese Bridge
  • The Garden at Sainte-Adresse
  • Garden Path at Giverny
  • Sailboat at Le Petit Gennevilliers
  • Red Boats at Argenteuil
  • The Studion Boat
  • Haystacks
  • Woman with a Parasol
  • Stormy Sea in Etretat