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Claude Monet

November 14, 1840 - December 5, 1926
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French artist and Impressionist painter Claude Monet (b. 1840—d. 1926) was born in Paris, France. Monet travelled to Le Havre, Normandy at a young age and, during his time there, busied himself by creating caricatures and learning to paint in plein air style. In 1859, Monet moved back to Paris, where he met figures, such as Camille Pissarro and Auguste Renoir, who would have an impact on him later in life. In the 1860s, Monet and Renoir started painting outside together, laying the groundwork for what would later be known as Impressionism.

In the 1870s, Monet also developed a new method in order to achieve an atmospheric and outdoor look in his works. He perfected this appearance by creating a rhythm in the brush as he applied paint to the canvas. In 1874, with some help from other prominent artists, he established the first Impressionist salon, where artists who painted in the Impressionist style could gather and talk. It was called Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Gravuers, etc. which would become the formal name for the group.

Both Monet and his family had to endure hardship before he began to sell pieces sometime during the 1880s. Around this time, fellow artists, such as Pissarro, accused him of commercializing art; while other future, up-and-coming Impressionist artists would call him passé for the work that he did trying to stay true to the foundation of Impressionism, which was to capture and depict nature in works of art by experiencing it directly. He is famously known for painting the same subject at different times of the day, so as to get a variety of different light in each piece of these series, which he started in 1890.

After cataracts affected his vision, Monet was declared half-blind at first and underwent surgery. While the surgery helped, he was ultimately declared blind altogether. Throughout all of this, and after, he continued to paint, with works quite different from his earlier ones, more blurred in color and shape.

Claude Monet died in Giverny, France, now a destination place and tourist attraction, the heart of which is Monet’s house and garden. He is one of the most renowned Impressionist artists and is famous for his Water Lilies painting, among many other works.

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