Saturday, August 31, 2013

Claude Monet, Impressionist Artist

Water Lilies perch on the reflective pond. A small boat floats under the willow tree, in front of an arched bridge hidden by the foliage. An artist of Impressionist vision painted here, in Giverny, France.



Monet's Water Garden, Giverny, Fr. by DG Hudson



Claude Monet
1840 - 1926

Claude Monet, Impressionist Artist, PD-WC*


A prolific painter of the French Impressionist movement, Oscar-Claude Monet was also one of its founders. He was joined by his fellow artists and friends Auguste Renoir, Frederic Bazille, Camille Pissarro and others. They were painters of the en plein air method (painting in the outdoors, completed in one sitting). This new painting style focused on the interplay between light and color, and how a light source defines an object and its color. His multiple studies document the changing versions of a haystack or a cathedral.


In 1870, Claude met and claimed Camille Doncieux as his muse. They moved to Argenteuil in December 1871. Camille modeled for her husband and other artists early in their relationship. She posed for the famous Camille, or 'The Woman in the Green Dress'. She appears often in Monet's paintings wearing a blue and white striped dress. She was also painted by the artists Renoir and Manet. The second son Michel, was born in 1878, a few years after his older brother Jean, in 1867.


On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt, Claude Monet 1868,PD-WC

In the photo above, the figure is likely Camille Monet. This is an early example of Impressionistic style.

Camille Monet became very ill in 1876, and never recovered her health. On September 5, 1879, she died of tuberculosis (or possibly cancer) at the age of 32. Monet painted his wife on her death bed as if he wanted to hold onto her spirit a bit longer. Did he regret the time he devoted to his art? Could he have done otherwise? She found the love of her life, and he loved her. Perhaps for Camille, that was enough. Claude died of lung cancer in 1926. He was 86 years old. He is buried in Giverny, France.


According to a tour guide at Monet's Garden, Michel, the only heir, died in an auto accident in 1966, and upon his death, the house, the garden and the water lily pond became the property of the French Academy of Fine Arts. Claude lived here with his second wife, but the gardens he nurtured for Camille. 


The Monet home in Giverny.



The Monet House, Monet Gardens, Giverny, by DG Hudson


A sense of serenity lives at Monet's Gardens. I'm glad the home, studio, and surrounding gardens were restored. This remains a tour attraction which draws many visitors each year.




Monet's Gardens, Giverny, Fr. by DG Hudson


Are you familiar with Claude Monet's paintings and other art work? Did you know of his muse and later his wife, Camille? Do you have a favorite painting by Monet? Do you prefer his people paintings or his landscapes?

Please share your thoughts in the comments and thanks for stopping by!

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Claude and Camille, the book. . . A novel about the artist and his first wife, by Stephanie Cowell. My book review on Rainforest Writing Blog: Claude and Camille. Updated to show review October 26, 2013.

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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet Claude Monet, wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Doncieux Camille Monet, wiki

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The photo of Claude Monet and the painting used in this post are from Wikipedia Commons, and in the Public Domain.
Note: copy/paste problems with WC.

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26 comments:

  1. I love Monet's landscapes best. I got to see an impressionist exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum in 1999 which was really cool.

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    1. Seattle gets great art shows. I never tire of seeing Impressionist paintings, mainly because they show people in villages,etc. At picnics, at the seashore, things people do for enjoyment - we see how they lived.

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  2. One sitting -- I still can't get over that. I used to buy a Monet calendar every year; couldn't get enough of his work. It's funny how the "realists" looked down their noses at impressionist work, but now we think of them all as the greats in their various styles.

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    1. For me, completing a painting in one sitting isn't the way I was taught. I have never painted outdoors. Now I want to.

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  3. I've always liked his art, never knew his story. That's very sad that he lost his wife when she was so young.

    Thankfully, so many precious works of his keep him immortal.

    Take care, DG.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Many women died young in those days, due to medical problems. There are a lot of sad stories in the world.

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  4. I've always loved the impressionist paintings. Monet's gardens are beautiful. But I had no idea about his wife or that she was a model in several artists' paintings. Sounds like the premise of a great movie. :)

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    1. If you search for a BBC production you can see a movie made about the couple:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6JbE34arck

      I love Richard Armitage in this version, as Monet was quite handsome as a young man. Camille Monet is a perfect example of the 'woman behind the man'.

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  5. Replies
    1. I like Monet's people paintings the best, and water scenes. Thanks for dropping by.

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  6. Oh, but your timing was perfect, D.G! We spent three days in Rouen. Our boutique hotel had a small balcony with a view of the cathedral Monet painted 30+ times, the west side, I think (I'm sooo bad with directions), because of how the light changed during the day. Above our bed in the hotel was a faux painting of Monet -- kinda odd, I thought at first, then realized he looked at the cathedral when the sliding door opened. Unfortunately, we only passed through Giverney on the train to Caen -- but we hope to return to Normandy and explore more.

    Thank you for stopping by. Your connection to WWII is very deep and heart-wrenching. Those were such tough times. They saw so much death and destruction. . . and how families had to cope when the young soldier off to war returned forever changed!

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    1. I like good timing. I would really like that hotel room - to look upon the same view - enchanting.

      I like architecture and window views as well!

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  7. I love those gardens! I could visit them every time I go to France! Monet is one of my favorite artists. I have several prints of his work hanging on my walls.

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    1. I have one print of Monet's (The Artist's Garden at Giverny) and one of Renoir's (Woman Reading).

      I liked seeing Monet's collection of Japanese prints on the own walls of his home when we toured there.

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  8. I do like Monet though I couldn't specifically name any of his paintings. He did got stuff though. After looking at his portrait a theory about his style came to mind. Maybe while he was painting his beard was rubbing across the canvas causing that fuzzy impressionistic shimmer.

    Sorry, but that's how my weird mind thinks sometimes. I'll go now.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. No comment, Lee. But, thanks for dropping by and leaving a few bon mots.

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  9. I didn't know about the painting in one sitting. Makes the artwork that much more remarkable. It looks like Monet's surroundings were as beautiful as his paintings.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Impressionists tried to capture the 'look of the light', so they'd paint furiously for several hours. I'll be reviewing the book 'Claude and Camille' next, based on Monet's life and his muse.

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  10. Nice post, great blog, following :)

    Good Luck :)

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    1. Nice to meet you, GranTurismo Driver, and welcome.

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  11. Hey DG, I love Monet! I didn't know much about his personal life, thanks for this. He was a master.

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    1. He was in my eyes, too, Eve. A passionate young artist and his muse never fails to charm us.

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  12. Loved this post. I'm a big fan of Monet and impressionists in general. My favorite museum in Paris is the Musée d'Orsay. I could spend the entire day in that museum.

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    1. Next to the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay is my fave, too, Elise. I love the fact that it's a renovated train station and full of my favorite paintings by - Monet and Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley, Manet, etc.

      Wish I lived as close to Paris as you do!

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  13. i love monet too---i think i enjoy his landscapes a bit more

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    1. Maybe you like to dream of seeing those landscapes, Lynn. I feel like I could walk into some of his landscapes and never want to leave. (e.g., his seashore paintings)

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