“Every day I discover more and more beautiful things.
It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire
to do everything, my head is bursting with it.”
~ Claude Monet
Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. But in 1845, his family moved to Normandy.
Claude showed great artistic talent early on, drawing caricatures of his teachers and fellow students at school rather than completing his lessons. In fact, he became famous in his hometown for his caricature drawings, which he sold to local residents.
Although his mother supported his artistic endeavors, his father did not. He wanted Claude to join him in the family grocery business. When he was 17 years old, Claude’s mother died and he went to live with his aunt. And after a short stint in the army, his aunt encouraged him to attend a formal art school in Paris, to which he agreed.
While studying in Paris, Claude met other aspiring artists, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. But being unhappy with the traditional techniques that were being taught, they all quit to follow their own artistic paths and new approaches.
They wanted to create in new ways, painting out of doors with thin, quick brushstrokes, and were more concerned with capturing the moment or the way light played upon the subject matter than traditional art techniques.
Their artwork, along with that of fellow artists, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, and more was criticized and not accepted at the Salon, the annual art show in Paris. So together they formed their own art group which they called the “Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers” and held their own art exhibition in 1874. This group of artists would later be known as the “Impressionists.”
In 1870, Monet had married his first wife, Camille, with whom he’d had a son.
However, in 1878, shortly after giving birth to their second son, Camille died.
In 1883, Monet settled in the house in Giverny with Alice Hoshedé, who cared for his children as well as her own six children.
By 1890, Monet had become successful enough as a painter that he was able to buy the house and the land around it.
He built a greenhouse, a studio, and a garden filled with water lilies.
In 1892, following the death of her husband, Monet married Alice and spent his remaining years painting his gardens at Giverny, attempting to capture them in different light, different times of the day, and different seasons of the year.
Claude Monet continued painting up until his death on December 5, 1926 at the age of 86. Today he is considered one, if not the, most important painters of the Impressionist movement. He left over 2,500 paintings, drawings and pastels which he had created in his lifetime.
Want to experiment with Impressionism? In my Mixing with the Masters, Volume One lesson on Monet, we learn even more about him and create three pieces inspired by some of his masterworks.
Purchase the entire course (including six master artists) for $60
or just the Monet lesson for $12:
Book Recommendations for Further Study:
Monet or The Triumph of ImpressionismMonet: His Life & Works in 500 ImagesThe Magical Garden of Claude Monet (Anholt’s Artists Books for Children)Claude Monet (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists (Paperback))Linnea in Monet’s Garden
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*Linking up with my friends at iHomeschool Network for November Birthday Lessons.
Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.