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!


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.


References: Claude Monet, wiki Camille Monet, wiki


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.