France * 1840-1926
Born on 14 November 1840 in Paris as the son of a Parisian craftsman, Claude Oscar Monet moved with his family to Le Havre in 1845. There he was taught to paint “en plein air” by Boudin and he made the acquaintance with the Barbizon School while by 1859 he met the painter Pisarro of the Academie Suisse.
Following a two-year stint in military service in Algeria, he returned to Le Havre to take up the paint brush with Boudin and Jongkind and paint coastal landscapes for a while before moving to Paris. In the French capital he got to work in the studio of Charles Gleyre where he met Bazille, Renoir and Sisley and carried on his outdoor painting with them.
During the Paris Salon in 1865 two of paintings received much attention, including “ The mouth of the Seine” (1865) and he received further recognition with “Camille” or “The woman in a green dress” (1866). In 1870 Monet moved to England where he met up with Pisarro and Daubigny and learnt more about English landscape painting. Following a short period in The Netherlands in 1871, he returned to France and worked with like-minded painters in Argenteuil.
In 1872 he painted “Rising sun impression”, the painting that would be part of the first group exhibition of Monet and his friends and become the basis for the art movement called “Impressionism”. However, by 1880 it became apparent that Monet was leaving pure impressionism through heavier and more muted colours as shown in “Sun flowers” (1881).
In 1883 he moved to Giverny, where he would remain until his last days. Around this time, art dealer Durand-Ruel held annual exhibitions with Monet’s works, including “Cliff walk at Pourville” (1882).
Monet spent time in London again between 1899-1905, where Waterloo Bridge, Charing Cross and the Houses of Parliament would be some of his favourite places to paint.
In 1899 he also started on his best-known series “Waterlilies”, a theme around which he would continue to paint and are arguably his signature works until his death in Giverny on 6 December 1926.