Claude Monet was a French painter and one of the leading artists of the impressionist period. His paintings became famous around the world.
Monet was born in 1840 is Paris. His father had a shipping company while his mother cared for the family. At the age of five Monet and his family moved to Le Havre, where he went to school. His talent for drawing came out at an early age because the boy always liked to be outside.
In 1859 Monet went back to Paris to study art. There he met other artists of the time, including Renoir and Sisley. Together with them he started experimenting with painting in nature.
By the middle of the 1860s Monet was famous throughout the European art world. However his life started to change. He spent too much money and sank deeper into debt. In 1870 Claude Monet married his long-time mistress Camille, with whom he had a son, Jean. His wife died after becoming seriously ill in 1879.
Claude Monet - Water Lilies
In 1874 Monet and some of his fellow artists decided to show their paintings in an exhibition. Critics started to call them impressionists, named after Monet’s painting “Impression:Sunrise”. Many people visited the exhibition but the group did not sell any paintings.
In the 1880s and 90s Monet became famous in the United States and made money from selling paintings. In 1892 he married a second time. In his later life Monet travelled to London and Venice where he painted a series of landscapes. He died in 1926 in Giverney, France at the age of 86.
Monet’s style of impressionism was all about nature. In his works he tried to capture nature as it appeared to him at the moment. He also experimented with light and shadow and how they changed during different times of the day. Some artists of the time criticised Monet and his style because they lacked detail and did resemble finished paintings.
Monet used strong colours, which he did not mix. He painted them onto the canvas in short brush strokes. He was also criticized for abandoning classical painting techniques.
In his later life he became fascinated with garden scenes. In Giverney he created a series of paintings called Water Lilies, impressions from a pond in his own garden.
Palace from Mula - Venice
- abandon = leave , keep away from
- canvas = piece of cloth that an artist paints on
- capture = to show the feeling of a situation
- care = look after
- critic = someone who criticises a person or an idea
- debt = money that you have to give back to someone
- exhibition = show of art
- fellow = colleague
- however = but
- impression = feeling, thought
- including = also
- lack = not have enough of
- landscape = countryside
- leading = most important, top
- mistress = woman that you have a relationship with, even though she is married to someone else
- mix = combine, put together
- pond = small lake
- resemble = look like
- series = several, many
- serious = very much
- shadow = dark shape that a person or object makes when the sun shines on him or it
- shipping = here: to transport products by ship
- stroke = single movement with a pen or brush
- technique = method
- throughout = in all of
- works = collection of paintings