Claude Monet was an unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style of painting. Monet Paintings are, in fact, the most important specimens of the Impressionist style.
Oscar-Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1840 to Claude Adolphe and Louise-Justine Monet. When Claude was about five, the family moved from Paris to the small town of La Havre. Claude Monet spent his childhood in La Havre and he began to show a keen interest in painting from a very young age. His caricatures were exhibited locally and were much appreciated. During this time, he befriended fellow artist Eugene Boudin who encouraged him to try landscape painting. He also initiated Monet into Oil Paintings.
In 1862, Monet entered the studio of Gleyre in Paris and there he met Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille with whom he was to form the nucleus of the Impressionist group.
Impressionism can be defined as a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based painters who began publicly exhibiting their art in the 1860s.
Impressionist Paintings were charcterized by visible brushstrokes, light colors, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (giving the impression of the passage of time), subject matters which werent out of the ordinary and innovative angles.This style of painting influenced a galaxy of painters, most famous of whom was Vincent Van Gogh.
Monets devotion to his craft can be best illustrated through an incident- during the painting of one of his earlier works, Women in the Garden , he had a trench dug in the garden so that the canvas could be raised or lowered by pulleys to the height he required.One day when his friend Courbet visited him he was surprised to find out that Monet was not ready to paint even a leaf in the background unless the lighting conditions were perfect.
Some of the Best known works of this great master are as follows:
Impression, Sunrise (1872/73) – Monet Painting
This is the painting after which Impressionist Movement was named. Monet depicts the harbor of Le Havre with very loose bush stroke. The aritst seems to suggest his subject rather than delineating it. It was indeed a landmark painting of the 19 th century.
Rouen Cathedral (1894) – Monet Painting
Monet was little concerned with the piece of architecture he was depicting in this painting. His primary aim was to capture the effects of light on it. What he found challenging about the building as the interplay of light and shadow on it.
Water lilies (1899) – Monet Painting
The Water lilies series was seen as his obsession and most definitely overwhelmingly dominated his whole body of work. In fact so particular was he to capture these beautiful aquatic plants that had a special studio built in the grounds of his house so he could work on the huge canvases.
This enormously prolific stalwart always wanted one thing from his connoisseurs and viewers- "Everyone discusses (my artwork) and pretends to understand, when it is simply necessary to love."