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Monet, Claude

Born: 1840 AD
Died: 1926 AD
Nationality: French
Categories: Painters

1840 – Born on November 14th in Paris, France. French painter who was the initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style.


1832 – Monet’s choice of Algeria for service was perhaps a result of his admiration for the Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix, whose colouristic work had been influenced by a visit to Morocco.


1845 – When Claude, the eldest son of Adolphe Monet, a grocer, was five years old, the family moved to the Normandy coast, near Le Havre, where his father took over the management of his family’s thriving ship-chandlering and grocery business.


1855 – Monet’s first success as an artist came when he was 15, with the sale of caricatures that were carefully observed and well drawn. In these early years he also executed pencil sketches of sailing ships, which were almost technical in their clear descriptiveness.


1859-1860 – He first visited Paris, where he was impressed by the work of the Barbizon-school painters Charles Daubigny and Constant Troyon.


1861-1862 – This informal training was interrupted by a call to military service; he served in Algeria, where he was excited by the African light and colour.             

     – Monet returned to Le Havre, perhaps because of illness, and again painted the sea with Boudin, while also meeting the Dutch marine painter Johan Barthold Jongkind.


1863-1866 – One of the most ambitious of these early works (which was never finished, supposedly because of negative comments by Gustave Courbet) was Déjeuner sur l’herbe (“Luncheon on the Grass”), named after Édouard Manet’s notorious painting shown in the "Salon des Refusés".


1870 – At Trouville, in broad, assured gestures, Monet painted a study of Camille on the beach. It is as animated an example of visual realism as had ever been painted: grains of sand remain embedded in the pigment.         

     – In order to avoid the Franco-German War, he left his son and Camille, whom he had just married, and traveled to London.


1872 – Monet discovered Japanese prints, the decorativeness and flatness of which were to have a strong influence on the development of modern painting in France.


1876 – A liaison began between Monet and Alice Hoschedé, the wife of a department-store owner and collector. Monet had incurred a burden of debts in Argenteuil, and Camille was pregnant and ill.


1879 – At Vétheuil the Monets were joined by Hoschedé, who had left her husband, and six of her children. Using funds from her dowry she assumed Monet’s debts and cared for Camille, who died in September.


1883 – Monet, Hoschedé, her children, and Monet’s sons, Jean and Michel, settled at Giverny, a hamlet near Vernon, 52 miles (84 km) from Paris, on the tiny Epte River. There Monet purchased a farmhouse surrounded by an orchard, which was to be his home until his death and is now a French national monument.


1899-1904 – The first (for which he made at least three trips to London) was the extensive multiple series representing the River Thames, the Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges, and the Houses of Parliament.


1908-1912 – The second and last of the architectural motifs Monet pursued was the canals and palaces of Venice. Monet began this series and continued, although he worked on these subjects at Giverny.


1915 – The concept of embracing spatiality, new to the history of painting and only implicit in the first water-lily paintings, unfolded during the years until the artist’s death into a cycle of huge murals to be installed in Paris in two 80-foot oval rooms in the Orangerie of the Tuileries.


1926 – Died on December 5th in Giverny.