As part of deviantART's Art History Project, *Topicality and yours truly have prepared news articles regarding Impressionism, an art movement from the 19th Century whose main characteristic is the presence of tin yet visible brush strokes to create shapes that compose an image.
In this article we will review Claude Monet, one of the founders of Impressionism, a brief summary of his life and some of his paintings.
Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Born in Paris on the 5th of November 1940, Oscar-Claude Monet is considered the main representative of Impressionism as he stayed true to its philosophy during his whole life as an artist. It's one of his paintings, Impression, Sunrise; which gives the movement its name after critic Luis Leroy wrote a sarcastic review of it in a Parisian newspaper called Le Charivari.
From an early age Monet showed interest in art, and he was known in the community of Le Havre for his caricatures. He then met Eugene Boudin, a landscape artist who introduced him to the experience of painting outdoors. In 1859 he moved to Paris, where he met and made friends with Pisarro, Renoir, Sisley and Bazille. He also received great influence from Johann Barthold Jongkind.
In 1865 he won acceptance in the Salon, a juried show held every year in Paris. The next year, the Salon accepted two of his paintings, one of them being Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress), which portrays his soon to be wife Camille Doncieux.
Upon returning to France after fleeing during the Franco-Prussian War, Monet helped form the Society of Anonymous Painters, Sculptors and Printers. It was in the Society's exhibition in 1874 where Impression, Sunrise was shown. As mentioned above, this painting gave Impressionism its name.
After Camille's death, Monet moved to Giverne in 1883. This place was a great source of inspiration for him. In his later years, he painted series of the same subjects in different times of day, seasons and light conditions. But the project that took most of his time was a series of 12 large scale waterlily paintings for a Parisian museum, Orangerie des Tuileries.
Monet died of lung cancer in December 5 1926 but his legacy as one of the founders of Impressionism will prevail for many years to come.
"My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects." - Claude Monet