Claude Monet Biography: Life and Art

claude monet biography

Who is Claude Monet? You will never have to ask this question again after diving into the life and legacy of this captivating and talented artist. This detailed biography of Claude Monet unpacks both the image he presented and gives you a window into the personal life he led. Behind every great artist is a story, a family, a lover, and a tragedy, just like the rest of us. So, for the last time, who is Monet?

Oscar Claude Monet Biography

who is claude monet

Who Was Claude Monet?

He was applauded for being the singular French impressionist painter. He was actually said to be the first. As the founder, he made a massive impact and propelled this specific art movement with his signature approach. He was known for creating images inspired by nature and landscape. Aside from the art, he was a typical French fellow that loved eating, women, and smoking. Many people yearn to know more about Claude Monet and his legacy.

Monet Characteristics:

  • Talented
  • Imaginative
  • Observant
  • Driven
  • Curious
  • Depressed
  • Dedicated
  • Playful
  • Creative

What Other Names Did He Go By?

He was, at times, referred to as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet. This is dependent on whom you ask. Many resources state different titles in their biography of Claude Monet.

When Was He Born?

He was born in November 1840. According to a Monet artist biography, he was born on the fifth floor of an apartment. Living through two centuries gives him a unique perspective, rich with history and life experience.

When Did He Die?

monet artist biography

This artist tragically lost his life to lung cancer. His beloved cigarettes, unfortunately, betrayed him in his final years. This incident happened in the month of December 1926. He lived a meaningful 86 years, despite his unhealthy habits. He passed away in Giverny and was buried there in a church cemetery. A substantial yet humble group of people attended his funeral, approximately fifty. Monet intended for his funeral to be modest and simple. Following his passing, his house became a tourism hotspot. The artist handed ownership of his stunning home over to the French Academy of Fine Arts. Many of his personal items and work still remain in the home to this day for tourists to lay their eyes on. This is the place to go for authentic and immersive Claude Monet history.

Where Is Claude Monet From?

The artist is straight out of France. Specifically, the art hub that is Paris. This city is famously known for its art and culture. The energy of this city propelled his interest in art. He would often visit the Musée du Louvre for inspiration. He would sit there, make observations, and connect dots. Monet even kept his materials on hand.

He often sat by the windows of the buildings and recreated what caught his eyes. He would comment on how artists copy each other and would try to emulate what he saw in his artistic research. He also moved to Le Havre with his family at a young age and then to Giverny later in his life. He spent a brief time in England as well. This was a desperate moment of refuge in the war. Monet had many homes and often traveled for the time.

Where Did He Study?

who is monet

Claude Monet was known for being a playful learner. As a child, Claude Monet was less interested in conventional learning and more in pursuing his artistic curiosity. He was often caught doodling instead of diligently working in class. The artist refined his art skills at Le Havre Secondary school of the Arts.

During this time, he developed a reputation and was even able to profit off some of his work. His pieces would sell for approximately twenty francs on average. He also studied the ropes of drawing under the direction of Jacques-François Ochard and oil painting with the help of Eugène Boudin. He was also a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, following his service in the army. Finally, he enrolled as a student at Academie Suisse.

What Was His Family Life Like?

claude monet information

The family was religious, and he was baptized as a child. A typical French Nuclear family model. His father named Adolphe worked in shipping and his mother was a housewife. Adolphe was not as supportive of his art in comparison to his ever-present, nurturing mother.

They could also connect due to her interest in singing and poetry. Her influence cannot be forgotten as she was an advocate and lover of the arts. An important piece of Claude Monet’s info is that his mother, Louise, died when he was only sixteen, and it triggered him to leave school and live with an aunt. His aunt was widowed and he spent time with her children. He also had one sibling, a brother named Leon.

As an adult, he had two wives. His first wife was named Alice. His second wife, Camille was a source of inspiration for his paintings. The most famous work was “The Woman in the Green Dress.” She lost her life to tuberculosis and he painted her on her deathbed. He had two children named Michel and Jean.

What Was His War Experience Like?

The artist was enlisted for a minimum of a 7-year term. 10s of thousands of French soldiers died during this brutal time. He served in the army in Algeria for a total of two of the expected years. Three other members of his family were also enlisted to battle in the war. His diligent aunt managed to absolve him of his duties when he became ill, on the condition that he attend university.

What Were His Struggles?

Even those we admire and fawn over experience hardship. Like many artists, he experienced grief, loss, mental illness, and poverty. He was forced to cope with the loss of his mother at a young age. This death was extremely hard for Monet and he felt great suffering as a result. He continually worked to overcome his depression. His first marriage was a failure. He did not always do well for himself and money became a source of anxiety. He even tried to commit suicide when the financial burden became too heavy for him to endure. This attempt was unsuccessful of course.

What Was Claude Monet Famous For?

claude monet history

Why is Claude Monet important? You may hear of his name or work often and have zero clues about what all this fuss is about. He is commonly referred to as one of the best and most famous painters to ever live. A cool piece of Claude Monet’s information is that he literally coined the term Impressionism. One of his most famous paintings was called “Impressionism, Sunrise.” A critic then took that word and used it to describe his artistic style and the work of his inspired counterparts during that time. In conclusion, this integral art period basically revolves around him and his great influence. In a way, Impressionism itself might as well be a Monet painter biography.

How Many Paintings Did He Make?

Claude Monet crafted a shocking 2,500 plus drawings and paintings. He was devoted to his practice and created when he got the chance. This surplus of work has been scattered all over the world for us to enjoy.

What Was His Best Work?

It is hard to narrow down a lifetime of creation to one painting. We are talking about thousands of pieces. Choosing the best one is actually quite subjective and personal. Some say it is Impressionism, Sunrise. This is due to its significance in this art period. Others may say he is known for his world-famous Water Lilies. Works like these, among others, have made their mark in the art scene.

Monet Style Impressionism

who was monet

The artist focused on light, texture, and brushstroke. This attention to detail is what brought his landscapes to life. His focus became the actual paint itself, as opposed to a subject. He was most interested in natural elements. Scenes from rivers, ponds, vast fields, and vegetation.

A-List of Museums with Quality Claude Monet

monet information

These are the key settings that are all about Claude Monet! They hold a great amount of his very stunning masterpieces on view and display just for you. Many tourists are interested in knowing who Monet was and answer that through witnessing his stunning paintings. Well, versed critics set their eyes on these beautiful locations to get a glimpse of his prestigious and priceless works. Find a museum near you with the Monet information you’ve been looking for! There are even more museums to discover, but these are our favorites.

  • The Met (New York City)
  • Museum Barberini (Potsdam)
  • Musee D’Orsay (Paris)
  • MoMA (New York City)
  • Legion of Honor (San Francisco)
  • Museum of Impressionism (Giverny)
  • Musee Marmottan Monet (Paris)
  • Artizon Museum (Tokyo)The Hugh Lane (Dublin)
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