Perhaps you know children sabotaging the study or who could be truant at school? Now imagine that an avid truant, a merry fellow, and a loafer became a world-famous artist. Yes, and this is all true about impressionist Oscar Claude Monet, a famous artist whose flower painting and Monet’s garden, and especially his Impression, Sunrise is recognizable all over the world, like many other Monet paintings.
It should be mentioned that the critics didn’t ignore Monet. The history of art has ample evidence of how wrong they were in their convictions. Even so, Monet is included in the galaxy of the most popular artists in the world. He left over 1,000 paintings to the world of art many of which you can see at claudemonetgallery.org.
In his works, Monet sought to capture the essence of the very nature, to see and transmit to canvas as it is, with its changing light and seasons. He worked in the open air and drew inspiration from various sources. One of his ideological inspiration was J.M.W. Turner and John Constable and their landscapes. Monet had the opportunity to enjoy their work during his stay in London, where he moved in flight from the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.
Also in London, Monet met Paul Durand-Ruel. They were old friends. Ruel proposed to engage in the constant purchase and sale of Monet’s paintings, which was the beginning of their cooperation and good financial support for the artist. Thanks to Ruel, Monet paintings and the work of European impressionists became in demand in the American market.
The birth of impressionism
Impression, Sunrise spawned the very origin of impressionism as an artistic movement. Monet described a sunrise over ports in the artist’s hometown, Le Havre. During an exhibition in Paris in April 1874, art critic Louis Leroy, impressed by the painting itself and its name, first used the concept of impressionism, which gave the name to a new artistic style. This painting is currently in the Marmottan Monet Museum.
Camille Doncieux, women in Monet’s life
Besides landscapes, Monet’s muse was his beloved family. It is worth remembering one small picture of a Woman with an Umbrella, which young Claude saw in his aunt’s house when he could draw only caricatures back then. This painting impressed him so much that his aunt even presented him with this work. The mature and experienced artist Monet is returning to the same topic by painting pictures of his beloved wife Camille and their eldest son. Unfortunately, the birth of a second child weakened Camille’s health and she soon passed away. But with nostalgia, Monet returns to this topic and writes a similar picture with his second wife Alice.
It can be jokingly noted that the occupation of Claude’s father didn’t pass him by. His father was a grocer. And although Claude avoided in every way to inherit the family business, greens and plants returned to Monet’s life. Claude Monet’s garden became another of his masterpieces. He adored plants and when the trade in paintings went smoothly, the artist had enough money to realize his dream. He bought the house he had been renting in Giverny, ordered seeds of rare plants, and, working in a team with experienced gardeners, created a beautiful garden. Later, when the garden was raging with colors and flowers, it became a source of inspiration for the artist, and he painted his bright flower beds and Japanese ponds with water lilies.
Monet didn’t bypass the war when he joined the army, but thanks to his illness and aunt, who contributed to, Claude returned from the battlefield. Contributing to the world as an artist, in 1922 Monet decided to bequeath his Les Nymphéas from the famous series of water lilies to the French people as a symbol of peace after the difficult years of the First World War. Eight 91-meter-long canvases adorn oval rooms specially designed for them at the Orangerie Museum in Paris. Monet painted these water lilies in his beautiful garden in a house in Giverny.
All Monet’s works were left in the inheritance of the artist’s youngest son. But he made them a national treasure and transferred it to the Marmottan Monet Museum. Thus, Monet’s paintings are rarely seen in the art market. And when this happens, there is a real stir. In 2008, Le Bassin Aux Nympheas from the Water Lily series broke the world record for value and was sold for $ 80.4 million. However, the next breakdown of the painting in 2016 exceeded this cost. For 14 minutes, a real battle was fought over the phone for the Meul from the Haystack series. The final declared value was $ 81,447,500.
It is difficult to imagine that someone could have reacted coldly to the masterpieces of Claude Monet. But it was American collectors who fomented interest in Monet’s canvases among the Parisian elite. And now the contemplators on both sides of the pond and Monet’s lilies sincerely admire these beautiful landscapes.