Impressionism: Claude Monet And His Art

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Claude Monet and His Art
When artwork from the period based on Impressionism is discussed the one artist that is mentioned the most is Claude Monet. He was born in Paris, France in 1840. Like so many other artists before him Monet was not born into a wealthy family. Usually it is the hardships and struggles that have created the very best artists.
What is in a name?
The Monet family was Catholic and they taught their religion to their son at an early age. When Claude Monet was baptized he was given the name Oscar-Claude and his parents always called him Oscar. The reason for this was that his father was also known as Claude. Of course we know that others attach the junior to the son’s name. As an artist he became known as Claude Monet.
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Most of his drawings at that time were caricatures of his school teachers. As time went on his school books were filled with his drawings. When the Monet family moved to Le Havre, Claude became famous for the drawings he created of the town’s residents. However while others delighted in his artistic talent his father hated his son’s drawings and his creativity. He wanted his son to one day join him in his grocery business. I suppose most every father hopes his son will follow in his footsteps. Luckily for Claude his mother loved and supported his artistic endeavors.
The military and typhoid
Claude Monet’s mother died when he was 17 and he was sent away to live with his aunt so that he could pursue an education in art in Paris, France. Even though this presented him with a great opportunity he chose to join the military in 1859. He agreed to serve for seven years however in his second year in the military he came down with a bad case of typhoid fever. His aunt pleaded for the military to release Monet and they agreed on the condition that he completes an art course at an accredited art school.
Hating modern
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He made his own designs as to how he wanted his garden to look and had hired hands follow them. A lot of his masterpieces came from the designs that he saw in his gardens at Giverny, including the famous painting of water lilies and which is considered to be Monet’s lifetime masterpiece.
Just one of the guys
Monet didn’t look down on people because he was a talented artist. Instead he was just a regular guy who wanted to make a living so that his family could live comfortably. He had his share of tragedies becoming a widower twice. In his final twelve years of life his stepdaughter took care of him due to his severe cataracts. In 1914 his oldest son died twelve years before Monet would die himself from lung cancer. It would have greatly surprised him to know that one of his paintings sold for $40 million in 2008 but I believe that he knows this and is amazed.
A fascination with death
A common theme in Monet’s painting was the exploration of death, his own death. At one time the artist considered suicide and wanted to jump into the Seine because he couldn’t pay his bills. It was wrongly believed that because his home and his grounds were bequeathed to the French government and that a foundation was created in his name Monet lived well and could paint without worry. This was far from the
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