Claude Monet

Nationality: French

Birth Year: 1840

Death Year: 1926


Claude Monet was a French painter and a leading artist of the Impressionist style. It was from his work “Impression, Soleil Levant” that the name Impressionism was derived.

Early Life and Education

Oscar-Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris. His father, Adolphe, worked in the family business and mother, Louise, was a trained singer and had an interest in poetry. The family moved to La Havre in the Normandy region when Claude was five years old. He had an early interest in art and was encouraged by his mother, whose death in 1857 had a deep impact on him. However, his father wanted him to join the family business.

In Normandy, Monet met Eugène Boudin, who became his mentor and introduced him to painting “en plein air,” which would influence his work for the rest of his life.

Paris Influence

Monet studied art seriously after moving to Paris in 1859. He was enrolled at the Académie Suisse and later, while studying under Charles Gleyre, came to know other young artists of the time such as Camille Pissarro, Jean Frédéric Bazille, Alfred Sisley and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The landscape painter Johan Barthold Jongkind was an important influence for the young artist.

Monet first exhibited his paintings at the Paris Salon in 1865 and the following year too, the jury selected two of his works. The selected works in 1866 comprised a landscape and a portrait of Camille Doncieux, his muse and future wife, entitled “Camille” or “The Woman in the Green Dress.” The couple’s first son, Jean, was born in 1867 and they married in 1870, just ahead of the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Monet faced financial hardship in this period and creditors confiscated many of his paintings. His distress at the situation led him to attempt suicide by drowning in River Siene in 1868. He and Camille were helped through the crisis by the patronage of Louis-Joachim Gaudibert, who provided Camille with a house to care for the newborn Jean.

With the outbreak of the war in 1870, Monet and Camille sought refuge in England. Here, Monet met his first art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, and also studied the landscapes of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner.

Beginning of Impressionism

Monet returned to France in 1872 and settled in the industrial town of Argenteuil, west of Paris. He renewed contact with Pissarro and Renoir, meeting them as well as Édouard Manet regularly. Manet and Monet would often meet at the latter’s studio on a boat and paint each other, as well as the surrounding view. Monet began to develop an individual artistic style in this period.

Monet was an important figure, along with Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro and Edgar Degas in forming the Société Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs in 1874. The aim of the society was to promote the avant-garde in art and move away from the constraints of art presented in the traditional, annual Salon. The first exhibition of the society, popularly called the first Impressionist Exhibition, was held in 1874 in Paris. The name Impressionism, which came to define a style of art with small, defined brushstrokes, natural depiction of light, and scenes from modern life, was derived from Monet’s 1872 painting, “Impression, Soleil Levant (Impression, Sunrise),” though it was first used in a negative sense by critics of the group’s art.

Monet and Camille’s second son was born in 1878, but this was also a difficult time for the family. Camille, whose health had been failing for some time, was diagnosed with uterine cancer and died in 1879. Before her death, the family moved to the village of Vétheuil, where they lived with Ernest and Alice Hoschedé and their six children.

Later Years

Monet and Alice became romantically involved after Camille’s death, moving with their children to Giverny in 1883, though Alice never divorced Ernest. It was only in 1893, after Ernest’s death, that Alice and Monet married. Monet was to live the rest of his life in Giverny, although he traveled to other parts of Europe to seek inspiration. Many of his later paintings of outdoor gardens, Japanese bridges and water lilies were inspired from the landscape at Giverny. The impact of light at different times of the day under varying conditions was a constant theme in his work.

In his later years, Monet suffered from poor eyesight as well as depression. He died at his home in Giverny on December 5, 1926. His home now houses the Claude Monet Foundation.

Born:November 14, 1840


See his work at:

LONDON: The National Gallery

NEW YORK: Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art

PARIS: Musée Marmottan Monet, Musée d’Orsay

SAN FRANCISCO: Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

VIENNA: Albertina

Died:December 5, 1926

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 Cote rocheuse by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Cote rocheuse

Matsart Gallery, Tel Aviv

June 30, 2015

$5,175  USD

 Waterloo Bridge, Brouillard by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Waterloo Bridge, Brouillard

Sotheby's, London

June 25, 2015

$404,390  USD

 Gamin Des Rues by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Gamin Des Rues

Sotheby's, London

June 25, 2015

$108,178  USD

 L'enfant ? La Tasse by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

L'enfant ? La Tasse

Auctionata, Berlin

June 24, 2015

$542,834  USD

 Etretat, Falaise et Porte D'amont, Grosse Mer by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Etretat, Falaise et Porte D'amont, Grosse Mer

Sotheby's, London

June 24, 2015

$4,803,321  USD

 Fin D'apr?s-midi, V?theuil by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Fin D'apr?s-midi, V?theuil

Sotheby's, London

June 24, 2015


 Iris mauves by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Iris mauves

Christie's, London

June 23, 2015

$17,044,835  USD

 Les meules ? Giverny by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Les meules ? Giverny

Christie's, New York

May 14, 2015

$16,405,000  USD

 Paysage de matin by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Paysage de matin

Christie's, New York

May 14, 2015

$4,533,000  USD

Artworks for sale

Monet Masterpiece Sold to China’s Dalian Wanda Group for $20.4 million

By Darryl Jingwen Wee | May 12, 2015

NEW YORK — Monet’s masterpiece “Bassin aux nymphéas, les rosiers” was sold for US$20.41 million (HK$159 million) at Sotheby’s New York Impressionist & Modern Art auction on May 5 to the...

Sotheby’s Kicks Off New York's Auction Season With a Bang

By Judd Tully | May 6, 2015

Dominated by trophy works by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso, Sotheby’s unleashed a rousing $368.3 million evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, setting the...

Monet and More: Frankfurt’s Städel Museum Celebrates its Bicentennial

By Lisa Contag | March 13, 2015

To celebrate its bicentennial, Frankfurt’s Städel Museum is staging a series of exhibition highlights this year.This week, the comprehensive show “Monet and the Birth of Impressionism” kicked off...

Sotheby’s to Offer Rare Monet Venice Painting in London

By Nicholas Forrest | January 9, 2015

Sotheby’s will offer a rare view of Venice by Claude Monet in its February 3 Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London. The 1908 painting titled “Le Grand Canal” will be offered with...

“Inventing Impressionism” at Britain’s National Gallery

By Nicholas Forrest | January 5, 2015

The British National Gallery’s exhibition “Inventing Impressionism” is the UK’s first exhibition devoted to visionary French art dealer and gallerist Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922) – the man who...

Sotheby’s Evening Sale — The Chariot of Fire

By Judd Tully | November 5, 2014

Turbo-charged by two 20th-century sculpture masterworks, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale racked up a record $422,110,000, the firm’s highest tally in its long history.That said,...

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Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

By Regina Mogilevskaya | May 4, 2015

The National Gallery's "Inventing Impressionism"

By Regina Mogilevskaya | April 9, 2015

Monet and the Birth of Impressionism in Frankfurt

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | March 13, 2015

„Monet und die Geburt des Impressionismus“ im Fran

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | March 11, 2015

Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

By Regina Mogilevskaya | February 3, 2015

Sotheby’s New York Impressionist & Modern Art

By Regina Mogilevskaya | November 4, 2014

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