77 Facts About Monet


Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter and founder of impressionist painting who is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially in his attempts to paint nature as he perceived it.

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Monet was raised in Le Havre, Normandy, and became interested in the outdoors and drawing from an early age.

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Monet was very close to his mother, but she died in January 1857 when he was sixteen years old, and he was sent to live with his childless, widowed but wealthy aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre.

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From 1883, Monet lived in Giverny, in northern France, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project, including a water-lily pond.

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Claude Monet was born on 14 November 1840 on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.

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Monet's mother was a singer, and supported Monet's desire for a career in art.

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Monet was an apathetic student who, after showing skill in art from young age, began drawing caricatures and portraits of acquaintances at age 15 for money.

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Monet began his first drawing lessons from Jacques-Francois Ochard, a former student of Jacques-Louis David.

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Monet thought of Boudin as his master, whom "he owed everything to" for his later success.

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Monet lived with his father and aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre; Lecadre would be a source of support for Monet in his early art career.

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From 1858 to 1860, Monet continued his studies in Paris, where he enrolled in Academie Suisse and met Camille Pissarro in 1859.

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Monet was called for military service and served under the Chasseurs d'Afrique, in Algeria, from 1861 to 1862.

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In search of motifs, they traveled to Honfleur where Monet painted several "studies" of the harbor and the mouth of the Seine.

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Monet often painted alongside Renoir and Alfred Sisley, both of whom shared his desire to articulate new standards of beauty in conventional subjects.

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Monet sent no more works to the Salon until his single, final attempt in 1880.

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Monet's work was considered radical, "discouraged at all official levels".

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Monet had a strong relationship with Jean, claiming that Camille was his lawful wife so Jean would be considered legitimate.

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Monet's father stopped financially supporting him as a result of the relationship.

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Monet did evolve his painting technique and integrate stylistic experimentation in his plein-air style—as evidenced by The Beach at Sainte-Adresse and On the Bank of the Seine respectively, the former being his "first sustained campaign of painting that involved tourism".

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Monet married Camille on 28 June 1870, just before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

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Monet repeatedly painted the Thames, Hyde Park and Green Park.

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Paintings such as Gladioli marked what was likely the first time Monet had cultivated a garden for the purpose of his art.

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Monet was inspired by the style and subject matter of his slightly older contemporaries, Pissarro and Edouard Manet.

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Monet gained a reputation as the foremost landscape painter of the group.

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At the first exhibition, in 1874, Monet displayed, among others, Impression, Sunrise, The Luncheon and Boulevard des Capucines.

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Monet later regretted inspiring the name, as he believed that they were a group "whose majority had nothing impressionist".

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Monet priced Impression: Sunrise at 1000 francs but failed to sell it.

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Monet displayed 18 paintings, including The Beach at Sainte-Adresse which showcased multiple Impressionist characteristics.

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Luncheon, 1868, Stadel, which features Camille Doncieux and Jean Monet, was rejected by the Paris Salon of 1870 but included in the first Impressionists' exhibition in 1874.

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Monet explained: "I one day found myself looking at my beloved wife's dead face and just systematically noting the colours according to an automatic reflex".

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Monet submitted two paintings to the Salon in 1880, one of which was accepted.

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Monet began to abandon Impressionist techniques as his paintings utilised darker tones and displayed environments, such as the Seine river, in harsh weather.

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Monet returned to Etretat and expressed in letters to Alice Hoschede—who he would marry in 1892, following her husband's death the preceding year—a desire to die.

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Monet travelled to the Netherlands in 1886 to paint the tulips.

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Monet soon met and became friends with Gustave Geffroy, who published an article on Monet.

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In contrast to the last two decades of his career, Monet favoured working alone—and felt that he was always better when he did, having regularly "long[ed] for solitude, away from crowded tourist resorts and sophisticated urban settings".

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Family worked and built up the gardens, and Monet's fortunes began to change for the better as Durand-Ruel had increasing success in selling his paintings.

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Monet wrote daily instructions to his gardener, precise designs and layouts for plantings, and invoices for his floral purchases and his collection of botany books.

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Monet remained its architect, even after he hired seven gardeners.

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Dissatisfied with the limitations of Impressionism, Monet began to work on series of paintings displaying single subjects—haystacks, poplars and the Rouen Cathedral—to resolve his frustration.

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Monet begun a series of Mornings on the Seine, which portrayed the dawn hours of the river.

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Monet had exhibited this first group of pictures of the garden, devoted primarily to his Japanese bridge, in 1900.

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Monet returned to London—now residing at the prestigious Savoy Hotel—in 1899 to produce a series that included 41 paintings of Waterloo bridge, 34 of Charing Cross bridge and 19 of the House of Parliament.

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At his house, Monet met with artists, writers, intellectuals and politicians from France, England, Japan and the United States.

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In 1913, Monet travelled to London to consult the German ophthalmologist Richard Liebreich.

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Monet was prescribed new glasses and rejected cataract surgery for the right eye.

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The next year, Monet, encouraged by Clemenceau, made plans to construct a new, large studio that he could use to create a "decorative cycle of paintings devoted to the water garden".

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Monet approached painting by formulating the ideas and features in his mind, taking the "motif in large masses" and transcribing them through memory and imagination.

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Monet's output decreased as he became withdrawn, although he did produce several panel paintings for the French Government, from 1914 to 1918 to great financial success and he would later create works for the state.

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Monet—who was apprehensive, following Honore Daumier and Mary Cassatt's botched surgeries—stated that he would rather have poor sight and perhaps abandon painting than forego "a little of these things that I love".

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In 1919, Monet began a series of landscape paintings, "in full force" although he was not pleased with the outcome.

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Monet became deeply dedicated to the decorations of his garden during the war.

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Monet has been described as "the driving force behind Impressionism".

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Monet was fascinated with the effects of light, and painting en plein air—he believed that his only "merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects" Wanting to "paint the air", he often combined modern life subjects in outdoor light.

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Monet wished to demonstrate how light altered colour and perception of reality.

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Monet utilised pencil drawings to quickly note subjects and motifs for future reference.

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Monet [felt] particularly drawn towards nature when it is embellished and towards urban scenes and for preference he paint[ed] flowery gardens, parks and groves.

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Monet often depicted the suburban and rural leisure activities of Paris and as a young artist experimented with still lifes.

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Monet began to think in terms of colours and shapes rather than scenes and objects.

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Monet used bright colours in dabs and dashes and squiggles of paint.

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In 1877 a series of paintings at St-Lazare Station had Monet looking at smoke and steam and the way that they affected colour and visibility, being sometimes opaque and sometimes translucent.

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Monet was to further use this study in the painting of the effects of mist and rain on the landscape.

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The study of the effects of atmosphere was to evolve into a number of series of paintings in which Monet repeatedly painted the same subject in different lights, at different hours of the day, and through the changes of weather and season.

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Monet refined his palette in the 1870s, consciously minimising the use of darker tones and favouring pastel colours.

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Monet increasingly used red and yellow tones, a trend that first started following his trip to Venice.

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Monet often travelled alone at this time—from France to Normanday to London; to the Rivera and Rouen—in search of new and more challenging subjects.

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Between 1883 and 1908, Monet travelled to the Mediterranean, where he painted landmarks, landscapes, and seascapes, including a series of paintings in Venice.

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In 1901, Monet enlarged the pond of his home by buying a meadow located on the other side of the Ru, the local watercourse.

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Monet then divided his time between work on nature and work in his studio.

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Monet changed the shape and size of his canvases by moving from rectangular stretchers to square and then circular stretchers.

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Monet continually postponed the Durand-Ruel exhibition until he was satisfied with the works.

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Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 at the age of 86 and is buried in the Giverny church cemetery.

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Monet had insisted that the occasion be simple; thus, only about fifty people attended the ceremony.

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Monet's paintings produced at Giverny and under the influence of cataracts have been said to create a link between Impressionism and twentieth-century art and modern abstract art, respectively.

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Monet has been called an "intermediary" between tradition and modernism—his work has been examined in relation to postmodernism—and was an influence to Bazille, Sisley, Renoir and Pissarro.

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Monet is the most famous of the Impressionists; as a result of his contributions to the movement, he "exerted a huge influence on late 19th-century art".

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In 2014, during the spectacular discovery of a hidden trove of art in Munich, a Monet that had belonged to a Jewish retail magnate was found in the suitcase of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of one of Hitler's official art dealers of looted art, Hildebrand Gurlitt.

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