French Artists

French Artists
  • Paul Cézanne
  • Gustave Courbet
  • Jacques-Louis David
  • Edgar Degas
  • Eugène Delacroix
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Claude Monet
  • Auguste Renoir
  • Nicolas Poussin
  • Henri Matisse
  • Antoine Watteau
  • Jean-François Millet
  • Charles Le Brun
  • Jean Fouquet

Claude Oscar Monet (1840 - 1926)

Claude Monet was one of the foremost French painters belonging to the 19th century movement known as Impressionism. Born in Paris in 1840, the son of a grocer, he was brought up in Normandy. In his teen years he became very adept at doing caricatures and later on he started painting realistic landscapes, encouraged by landscape painter Eugène Boudin. This mentor also urged him to paint outdoors, known as "plein-air" painting. This technique later became one of the central pillars of the Impressionists in their work.

After his military service in 1861-1862 (he only spent two years of the seven he was conscripted to serve, however, his father was able to buy him out of it), Monet went to Paris to study under painter Charles Gleyre, along with fellow students Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille. During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871, Monet left Paris for England, where he continued mingling with other prominent Impressionist artists.

After the war he returned to France, settling in Giverny. After the 1870’s Monet began focusing a lot on light and atmosphere in his paintings. He tended to make multiple studies of one particular subject, ending up with series of paintings on train stations, haystacks, the London skyline and his most famous water lilies.

Monet died in 1926. His house and garden at Giverny, which was where he drew his inspiration for his most famous series "The Water Lilies", were opened to the public in 1981.