Oscar Claude Monet is known throughout the world and associates with beautiful and sophisticated water lilies, magnificent garden paintings, and delicate Japanese bridges. The French artist was a master at managing light and shadow. And even the fact that at the end of his life Claude saw with only one eye and could see ultraviolet as blue or lilac, this even added a special charm to Claude Monet paintings. Claude Monet biography was as interesting and eventful as his work.
1. In early childhood, his talent was clearly manifested
Monet was born in Paris in 1840 in the family of a grocer Claude Auguste Monet and Louise Justine. The father wanted his son to inherit the family business, but young Claude avoided these responsibilities by all means. He even did poorly at school. He was a rare visitor to the walls of educational institutions, and when he ended up there, he painted caricatures of his teachers and neighbors. It might seem that this rebellious activity will not lead to anything good. However, Claude’s caricatures made him famous throughout the city. Soon, his work became so popular with the public that people were willing to order them for money. They were even put on a window in a local shop. It was there that Monet met Eugene-Louis Boudin, who later became a mentor to young Claude and taught to see the beauty of nature, working on the open air, and to paint beautiful landscapes. Boudin also insisted on the need to get an art education.
2. He was a soldier in Algeria
In 1861, Monet was drafted into the army for a seven-year service in Algeria, which at that time was controlled by France. But a year later he contracted typhoid fever and his aunt paid so that Monet could leave the army and be free from military obligations. But at the same time, her aunt insisted that Claude leave for Paris and go to art school.
3. Being disappointed in academic art rushed to the Seine
Claude’s rebellious nature also made itself felt during his stay and training in Paris. There he was forced to study the classical art style, which caused him all sorts of resistance. He hated patterns. Despite this, Monet tried to exhibit his paintings at the Academy’s art exhibitions, but they were almost always rejected. This affected Claude so much that, out of desperation, he threw himself into the river. This shock changed the mindset of a novice artist. He began to spend more time in the promise of other artists who were abhorred by the limitations of the Academy.
4. Meta painting by Renoir
Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet were old friends. Renoir often visited Monet at his house in Argenteuil, in a suburb of Paris. Together they painted in the garden of Claude. Both of them were opponents of the academic style. So while experimenting on the open air, the idea of Renoir to draw a painter was born. He wrote his work Monet in His Garden in Argenteuil.
Monet Painting In His Garden At Argenteuil, by Renoir
5. He became the father of impressionism
Together with other artists outside the academic style format, they created their own community. It included Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and Paul Cezanne. They called themselves the Anonymous Society of Artists, Sculptors, Engravers. In 1874, they organized their exhibition where they presented innovative bright works. There was Monet’s painting Impression, Sunrise. So, thanks to this name, the term of new artistic direction impressionism appeared.
6. The second wife of Monet was jealous for the first
Camille Doncieux was for a long time Monet ‘s favorite model and subsequently, they got married and had two children. But the birth of a second child affected her health and she soon died. After a while, Claude began to live with Alice Hoschedé. She was constantly jealous of the artist for his late wife and even destroyed her letters and photographs. But the children of Claude and Alice had a slightly better relationship. Alice had six children from her first marriage. And one of Alice’s daughters married Monet’s son.
7. For his garden, Monet collected lilies from around the world
Thanks to his skill and friend Duran Ruelle, who successfully sold Monet paintings, the artist was able to buy a house in Giverny, in northern France. In his garden, Monet also became landscape painters. He created landscapes with real flowers, trees, and water lilies, which he ordered from Egypt and South America. He made for himself an ideal place for the peaceful writing of landscapes. And even though the local city council didn’t encourage extraneous plants, this didn’t affect the measured life that Monet created for himself.
8. Monet had a gardener who wiped the dust from water lilies
We can say that Claude was an idealist, recalling his garden. He hired six employees to look after his landscape masterpiece. One of them even had to sail the boat every morning around the dam and wash the dust from the lilies until their leaves shine. Then Monet came and began to paint his landscapes with the light reflecting from the surface of the pond.
9. His impaired vision gave a new tone to his work
When Monet was about 60 years old, his vision began to be irrevocably lost. He saw the bright colors as dull, and the delicate shades as if they were dirty. He painted blindly, remembering the location of objects and colors on his palette. After some time, Monet nevertheless decided to have a surgical intervention. He was forced to undergo two cataract surgery. This influenced the way he perceived colors. He was forced to wear tinted glasses, which distorted the perception of colors. Due to this, he even might see the ultraviolet color.
10. Art historians have discovered a picture under the picture
In 2015, an art dealer discovered that one of Monet’s landscapes hid another pastel painted by an artist. In the first drawing, there was a lighthouse and a pier in the port of the artist’s hometown, Le Havre, where Monet lived back in his childhood.
11. Monet’s house and garden are open to tourists
60 years after the death of the artist, his house and garden in Giverny became open to tourists. There you can see all the landscape wonders created by the artist, as well as woodcuts and souvenirs. The artist’s house has also become a museum and showcases Monet’s bedroom, his studio, and the blue living room.
Both during and after his life, Claude Monet was and remains the creator of beauty. And his works can be admired in museums around the world.