About Claude Monet
In 1870 a new style of art was becoming popular. It was called Impressionism. Artists who painted in this new style were called Impressionists. Early Impressionists didn’t follow the traditional rules of painting. They did their painting with freely brushed colors rather than using lines. You can say that Impressionists really liked to color outside the lines. They also liked to paint pictures outside of their art studios of everyday scenes and landscapes.
Claude Monet is considered one of the greatest French artists of all time. He also founded the Impressionist movement. In fact the Impressionism style was named after one of his paintings called “Impression, soleil levant.” In English that means "Impression, Sunrise."
Impression, Sunrise, 1872
Claude Monet was born in Paris, France, on November 14, 1840. He was the second child of Louise-Justine Aubry and Claude Adolphe Monet. In 1845, the Monet family settled near the ocean in Ingouville, France. From a very early age, he loved to draw and make art.
At the age of 11, Claude began attending school. He studied many subjects including art. When he was a young teenager, people started to see that Claude had artistic talent. He would draw pictures of his teachers on his schoolwork. By the time he was 15, he had developed a reputation as a “caricature” artist. Caricatures are funny pictures of real people. His caricatures were displayed in the window of a local frame maker's shop. People started to recognize their fellow villagers in the drawings. People soon began to pay Claude to draw their caricatures and he was able to make a steady income for his family.
When Claude was 16, his mother died and the family moved. A year later the young artist met landscape painter Eugene-Louis Boudin, who began to teach him how to paint outside. At first, Claude didn’t like painting outside of his studio. After a while he got used to it and started spending more and more time painting in nature. The ocean particularly inspired Claude. He really liked the way light reflected off the water.
In 1860 Monet was drafted into the military. During these years he did not paint at all. When he got out of the military he went back to Paris and picked up his painting where he left off. Monet also met Camille Doncieux in Paris, and then married her in 1870. Camille modeled for many of his paintings.
War broke out in France in 1870 and Claude and Camille moved to London. There he met an art dealer named Paul Durand-Ruel. Paul was one of Monet’s strongest supporters.
Monet became friends with several of the leading artists of the time, including Pierre Renoir, Edouard Manet, and Camille Pissarro. They formed an artist group called the "Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Printmakers." They wanted to experiment and try new things with art.