The Impressionist Landscape Painter Claude Monet

Claude Monet was the most important landscape painter of impressionism, and a key contributor to the style’s philosophy that one’s perceptions of nature should be reflected in an artist’s paintings. Inspired in part by Edouard Manet, he left the clear depiction of forms and linear perspective that were prescribed by established art, and experimented with loose handling and bold color. Monet also shifted the emphasis in his paintings from depicting a subject to portraying different qualities of light and atmosphere in a scene.

Monet was born in the town of Le Havre in France, where his father ran a successful ship-chandlering and grocery business. His early life along the Normandy coast gave him intimate knowledge of the sea and rapidly changing coastal weather, which he would draw on throughout his career to create his fresh vision of nature.

The young Monet studied under the Barbizon-school painters Charles Daubigny and Constant Troyon, but did not enroll at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Instead he sought out his own sources of inspiration in the landscapes and flora of the French countryside, and developed an appreciation for the works of the British painters John Constable and J. M. W. Turner. He began to produce oil sketches out-of-doors, and by 1859 his work had begun to attract attention.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Monet moved to London where he produced several paintings that showcased his new style. This experience brought him closer to the art dealers Paul Durand-Ruel and James Whistler, who helped him find exhibition space in the nascent modern art market.

In the late 1880s, Monet moved back to France and settled in the suburb of Argenteuil. He became an active participant in the Impressionist group of painters, including Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley, and he began to exhibit his own work in the impressionist exhibitions, which he named after one of his paintings (Impression, soleil levant).

By the 1890s, Monet had become prosperous enough to purchase a large house and property near the towns of Vernon and Gasny at Giverny, where he established extensive gardens with numerous ponds and a water lily pond. Monet also constructed a studio for working outdoors, and he used it for many of his later paintings in which he depicted the same subjects under different lighting conditions. These include his famous series of trees and haystacks, Rouen Cathedral and his own garden at Giverny.

Cataracts forming on his eyes, which affected his vision and caused the colors to appear reddish in tone, influenced his later work. mobet did during this period, such as the Weeping Willows and Water Lilies in the Garden at Giverny, may have been partially motivated by his desire to preserve for posterity his impressions of controlled nature.

After Mobet , when his second wife Alice died and his son Jean passed away, Monet reverted to painting scenes of a more spiritual nature. He continued to travel and painted several important series in places such as Venice, London and around France, but his last years were blighted by the ravages of World War I and the death of his younger son.