The painter Claude Monet 1840 – 1926
The life and work of Claude Monet
Claude was born on November 14 1840 as the second son of Claude Adolphe Monet (grocery store) and Louis Justine Aubree, in the Rue Lafitte 45 in Paris. His full name is Oscar – Claude Monet.
At the age of 5, the family moved to Le Havre due to economic circumstances, where his father came to work for the husband of his older half-sister, Marie-Jeanne Gaillard Lecadre. She is very important for Claude because she stimulates him when it turns out that Claude is very happy to draw. At first they are caricatures of wealthy people and Claude also sells them. His drawings hit the newspapers and are seen by Eugene Boudin, a marine and landscape painter. Boudin takes Claude into his care and shows Claude that he has talent.
In 1859, Claude Monet left for Paris for Boudin’s teacher Constant Troyon, who also saw Claude’s talent, but first taught him drawing and commissioned him to re-draw paintings in the Louvre. Claude is going to study at the Academy Suisse where Claude makes friends for life with Manet, Pissarro, Sisly and Degas. Claude gets painting lessons from Charles Gleyre.
When Claude had to be on military service in 1861 and left for Algeria for 7 years, he was influenced by the beauty of the landscape. Claude was struck by typhoid in 1862 and returned to Le Havre to recover. There Claude meets one of the forerunners of Impressionism, Johan Barthold Jongkind, who, as Claude himself said, “taught him to compose the light”.
Claude Monet’s first marriage
Claude had a relationship with Camille Doncieux in 1865 and their son Jean was born in 1867 and married in 1870. When war breaks out during their honeymoon in Trouville, they leave for London and return to France, Argenteuil, via Zaandam and Amsterdam in 1871. Michel, the 2nd son of Claude and Camille, was born in 1879. Camille died a year later and Claude and his sons went to live with the Alice and Ernest Hoschede family. In 1883 they all moved to Givency.
Besides being a painter, Claude is a passionate gardener. Claude has landscaped beautiful gardens in Argentuil and later in Givency which Claude has captured in many paintings. In 1890 Claude created the 1st garden in a colour mix of flowers. Here he experiments with colour and light. The water garden with the Japanese bridge with blue wisteria, water lilies and the trees and shrubs that find their reflection on the water.
When Ernest died in 1891, Claude married Alice. They have a rich existence because the paintings are sold well. Claude makes his paintings in series. At different times of the day, Claude records his subjects by playing with the atmosphere and light of the moment.
Claude Monet exhibits only once at the exhibition of Salon de Paris, after which Claude is barred by his way of painting. However, on the initiative of Napoleon III, an irregular exhibition is being organized, Salon de Refuses, where many of Claude’s acquaintances also exhibited. They were also not welcome at the Salon de Paris because of the way they painted.
Camille died in 1911 and Claude’s son Jean, who was married to Alice’s daughter Blanche, died in 1914. Blanche takes care of the elderly Claude, who suffers from an eye disease, is operated on to it but eventually Claude Monet dies on December 5 1926, after becoming blind in June 1926. Claude is buried in the cemetery in Givency.
Claude’s possessions are transferred to his son Michel. Which in turn donates the house with the garden and the water lily pond to the Academy des beaux-art in 1966. All of this was opened to the public in 1980 and is still on display.
Claude Monet is one of the founders of Impressionism.
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