The paintings of Claude Monet delighted contemporaries with the purity of colors, and his landscapes still seem alive and shimmering. How did the life of the master develop and what helped him open a new era in the fine arts?
Biography of Claude Monet
His father was engaged in the sale and supply of food products and saw his youngest son as a future assistant. Little Oscar’s passion for drawing was supported only by his mother, who was a singer.
At the age of 11, the future artist entered the Le Havre Art School. Five years later, an important acquaintance with Eugène Boudin took place. This Norman painter had a strong influence on Monet and taught him to work in the open air, which was not accepted in academic painting.
At 16, Claude Monet lost his mother and moved in with his aunt, who allowed him to study painting in Paris. The first trip did not last long: in the spring of 1861, the young artist was drafted into the army. A wealthy father could release his son from conscription, but in return he demanded that he leave painting and take up “serious business.”
Monet refused without hesitation and ended up in Algiers with the regiment. Subsequently, he wrote that the bright colors of Africa laid the foundation for his future creative search. Instead of a long seven years, the service lasted only a year. When Monet fell ill with typhoid fever, his aunt took care of his leaving the army and returning to Paris.
Glory came to Claude Monet not immediately. He spent many years in extreme poverty and deprivation. The Paris Salon did not accept the innovative work of young authors, and there were almost no sales. Relatives did not approve of Monet’s relationship with Camille Donsier and did not help the young family.
Everything changed in 1874, when the artists rejected by the Salon opened their own exhibition on the Boulevard des Capucines with the famous photographer Nadar. It was there that Monet’s painting “Impression. The painting “Sunrise” caused ridicule from critics and gave the name to impressionism.
Although the public did not appreciate the first exhibition, painting in a new manner found its fans. From that moment on, Claude Monet gradually became more and more famous and successful. But as soon as financial well-being came, misfortune came in his personal life. Camilla fell seriously ill after the birth of her second son and died in 1879. After her death, the artist practically stopped painting people, he switched to landscapes, although he remarried a widow with six children.
In the late 1880s, Monet settled in the picturesque town of Giverny in Normandy, and a few years later he was able to buy a house with a garden here. Later, he purchased additional land for a pond. Employing five gardeners, he enthusiastically took up the cultivation of flowers and water lilies from South America and Egypt. The artist painted these lilies for 30 years, until his death on December 5, 1926. His latest work is so focused on color that the form is almost lost. These paintings were one step away from abstract art.