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Claude Monet

Born: Paris, 14 November 1840
Died: Giverny, 6 December 1926
Nationality: French
Background: 

bourgeois merchant family

Studies: 

 with Charles Gleyre (1862, Paris) and Johann Barthold Jongkind (Paris)

Career: 

1862 – meets Frédéric Bazille, Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley in Gleyre’s studio

1865 – exhibits Seine Estuary at Honfleur (Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA) at Paris Salon

1866 – exhibits Camille (Kunsthalle, Bremen) and Pavé de Chailly (private collection) at the Salon; subsequent entries will be rejected by the Salon jury

1874 – founder-member of the Société Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs (Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, known at the Impressionists); exhibits in First Impressionist Exhibition (also in Second in 1876, Third in 1877, Fourth in 1879)

1880 – exhibits The Seine at Lavacourt (Dallas Museum of Art) at the Salon; breaks with Impressionist artists

1883 – settles in Giverny

1890s – exhibits at Durand-Ruel’s gallery and Galerie Georges Petit (Paris)

1918 – Monet announces donation of Waterlilies to the French state

Travels

London (1870; 1899; 1901); Venice (1908)

Commissions from: 

Louis-Joachim Gaudibert; Paul Durand-Ruel; Ernest Hoschedé

Important Artworks: 

On the Banks of the Seine, Bennecourt, 1868 (Art Institute of Chicago)

La Grenouillère, 1869 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Impression, Sunrise, 1872 (Musée Marmottan, Paris)

Gare Saint Lazare series, 1877 (for example, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA)

Grainstack series, 1891 (for example, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh)

 

In a December 1868 letter written to Frédéric Bazille from Etretat, Monet asked:

“Don’t you think that directly in nature and alone one does better?...I’ve always been of this mind, and what I do under these conditions has always been better. One is too much taken up with what one sees and hears in Paris, however firm one may be, and what I am painting here has at least the merit of not resembling anyone…because it will be simply the expression of what I shall have felt, I myself, personally.”

Cited in Joel Isaacson, “Constable, Duranty, Mallarmé, Plein Air, and Forgetting,” The Art Bulletin, vol. 76, no. 3 (September 1994): 433.

Web Resources

Metmuseum: Monet

Giverny: Monet

smarthistory: Monet’s Rouen Cathedral Series