Claude Monet–Impressionism

Isom Young, Writer

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Claude Monet,  born November 14, 1840 in Paris, France, had a tremendous propensity for art. Stirring with passion, he availed himself by enrolling in the Academie Suisse. After an art exhibition in 1874, a critic insultingly dubbed Monet’s painting style “Impression,” since it showed more  concern with form and light rather than realism, but the term stuck about his unique style.

In 1845 at age five, Monet moved with his family to Le Havre, a port town in the Normandy region. He grew up there with his older brother, Leon.

While known as a decent student, Monet did not like confinement to a classroom. Instead, he enjoyed  outside experiences close to nature. At an early age, Monet developed a love of drawing, that would later bloom into lovely masterpieces.

He filled his school books with sketches of people, including caricatures of his teachers. While his mother supported his artistic efforts, Monet’s father wanted him to enter into business. Monet, having a close bond with his mother, overwhelmingly suffered after her death in 1857.

In 1859, Monet decided to move to Paris to pursue his art. While there,  influenced by the Barbizon school paintings, he enrolled as a student at the Academie Suisse. During this opportune time, Monet met fellow artist Camille Pissarro, who would grow into a close friend for many years.

From 1861 to 1862, Monet performed military service, and  they stationed him in Algiers, Algeria, but  they later discharged him for health reasons. Returning to Paris, Monet studied with Charles Gleyre. Through Gleyre, Monet met several other artists, including Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frederic Bazille, and the four developed a friendship.

He also received advice and support from Johan Barthold Jongkind, a landscape painter who had a strong influence on the young artist.

Returning to France  in 1872, Monet eventually settled in Argenteuil, an industrial town west of Paris, and he began to develop his own artistic technique

During his time in Argenteuil, Monet visited with many artist friends, including Renoir, Pissarro and Edouard Manet, who Monet in a later interview at first hated him because people confused their names. Banding together with several other artists in an opportune manner, he learned and developed his unique artistic style.

Monet helped form the Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs, as an alternative to the Salon and exhibited their works together.

Monet struggled with depression, poverty and illness throughout his life. Sadly, he died in 1926.

Claude Monet–his masterpiece artwork stands the test of time.




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