Claude Monet's Biography

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Claude Monet's Biography

Claude Monet was born in Paris on the 14th November, 1840. When he was five years old, he moved to the port town of Le Havre. For much of his childhood, Monet was considered by both his teachers and his parents to be undisciplined and, therefore, unlikely to make a success of his life. Enforcing this impression, Monet showed no interest in inheriting his father's wholesale grocery.

The only subject that seemed to spark any interest in the child was painting. He developed a decent reputation in school l for the caricatures he was fond of creating. By the age of fifteen, he was receiving commission for his work, and was finally to become known as the "Father of Impressionism".
Monet studied under the painter Boudin, who was obsessed with the idea of painting outdoors. Later Monet left Le Harve to travel Europe, but was recorded as frequently returning to visit his friend of many years. Monet once said about Boudin, "My eyes were finally opened and I understood nature; I learned at the same time to love it.”

Monet served for the National Service in the spring of 1862, and lived in Algeria. During this time the landscape and environment was said to have made a profound impact on his work. Boudin had opened his eyes as a painter, he may have even convinced the young painter to break with tradition and finish his paintings outdoors, but he was still too young to truly experience the country's capital. Algeria was just the place and time that he needed.

Titled now as the "Father of Impressionism", Monet was always absorbed by the fleeting quality of sunlight. Still, he went far beyond a preoccupation with luminosity and reflections in his works. The art of Monet, gives the appearance of improvisation and spontaneity. His paintings often took a very long time to finish, as he would only paint when the light was falling correctly on every aspect of the painting's subject matter.

Monet moved to London in the early 1870's to avoid involvement in the Franco-Prussian War. There he was exposed to the English masters, Constable and Turner. Later, Monet returned again to Le Harvre where he painted the cited painting largely credited with the naming of the entire movement. Never fully content, Monet went to Dieppe, Pourville and Varengeville-sur-Mer. His first wife Camille died in 1882, and in 1883 Monet finally settled in Giverny where he remained until his death.

This geographical constant was coupled with the disintegration of the group of impressionists. Other influences and groups presented themselves and, gradually, each of the painters drifted away to pursue their own styles. In 1892 Monet married Alice Hoschede, with whom he had an affair during his marriage to Camille. In that year he painted his noticing how every aspect of the scene was altered in accordance with the changing light. This realization was to become an obsession in his later years. At last, Monet gained renown. He knew several important people and he became financially secure for the first time in his life. With this new-found luxury, Monet devoted himself to gardening which, in turn, provided a motif for the painter's last important work. Monet was absorbed in this project almost exclusively from 1900 until his death. In 1922, Monet underwent a surgery for his cataract which only restored his sight and he was able to once again paint his dreams. But only four years later he passed away on December the sixth.

Works Cited
Gordon, Robert, Forge, Andrew; Monet Abradale Press (August 1989)

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