CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) HIS LIFE • • • • Claude Monet is the most famous Impressionist artist. He was completely dedicated to the idea of painting out of doors. His goal was to capture a single moment of time and light in his painting. He worked tirelessly to achieve this effect. Towards the end of his life his paintings became almost abstract with swirling colours dissolving into light. Early influences • • • Monet came from Le Havre in Normandy and he began painting there. He then went to Paris, where he met Camille Pissarro and became interested in landscape painting. He met the Barbizon painters and learned to appreciate the benefits of working en plein air. Paris • • • He enrolled at Charles Gleyre’s studio in Paris and met fellow students Frederic Bazille, Alfred Sisley and Pierre August Renoir. The students regularly met after class in the Café Guerbois and had lively discussions on art with other young artists like Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas. In 1865 the Salon accepted two of Monet’s seascapes but the critics confused his name with Edouard Manet. Financial difficulties • • • • Life began difficult for Claude Monet in the late 1860’s. He had very little success at the Salon. Financially he was very badly off and his girlfriend Camille became pregnant. His large painting Women in the Garden was rejected by the Salon so he abandoned figure painting. He spend the summer of 1869 painting riverside pictures with his friend Renoir. These marked the real beginning of Impressionism. Success • • • • • • • • He began to have success but his wife died in 1879. They had been living with the Hochede family who were good friends of theirs. Alice Hochede had cared for his wife and after she died, she and Monet remained together. They married after the death of her husband. They bought a house in Giverny on a small river near the Seine. They had Monet’s two sons plus six of Alice’s children. It was here that he developed his famous water garden with a Japanese bridge. He lived here for 43 years, painting until the end of his life. He died in 1926 at the age of 86. WATER LILY POND-HARMONY IN GREEN 1899 • • Although Monet loved plants and flowers, he was not interested in distinguishing them in a painting He was more interested in the reflections on the water. In Water Lily PondHarmony in Green, the surface of the painting is a rich carpet of colour, with brushstrokes of yellow, pink and lavender woven in with the shimmering green of the plants. • • • • He left out any hint of sky, enveloping the viewer in the beauty of the sunlit garden. He let each layer of paint dry before he painted the next one. His brushstrokes were thick and heavy, gradually building up a three-dimensional, rough texture. This can be seen particularly on the depiction of the bridge, making it appear to stand out from the background. Travelling in France • During the 1870’s and 1880’s Monet gradually refined his technique. • He made man trips to scenic areas of France to study the most brilliant effects of light and colour possible. • From 1890 he concentrated on a series of pictures in which he painted the same subject at different times of the day in different lights. • Haystacks and Rouen Cathedral are the best known example of these. • In 1914 he had a special studio built in the grounds of his house and here he worked on huge canvases. • In the last years of his life, he painted a series of water lilies called Les Grandees Decorations. He donated these to the French state and they are now displayed as he intended in two oval-shaped rooms in the Musee d’Orangerie in Paris, bathed in natural light from the glass roof. CAMILLE PISSARRO (1830-1903) • • • • Camille Pissarro was a very important figure in the Impressionist movement. He was about ten years older than the others and he constantly advised and encouraged them. He organised the exhibition and was the one who exhibited at all eight Impressionist shows. As well as teaching the younger artists, he also learned from them; and yet he remained insecure about his own work.