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Claude Monet

French  •  Impressionism  •  1840 − 1926

Claude Monet was born in Paris, France. Even when he was still a young child, his artistic ability was clearly observed by everybody around him. A mischievous teenager, Monet drew his teachers? faces on his homework, examinations and other schoolwork. read more

This amused and impressed his teachers and his schoolmates and friends began to take notice of his talent in drawing. Soon, Monet found himself in business ? the young artist would charge people to draw their caricatures and it wasn?t long before he was earning good money. This business enabled him to start his personal savings. After school, Monet joined the military in Algeria, Africa and served for 2 years. Before his service ended, he contracted typhoid fever and the officials sent him back to France so that he could recover properly. Back in his home country, Monet noticed that there were plenty of artists who copied the paintings of famous artists and sold them to tourists outside museums like The Louvre. He decided to sell paintings as well, but instead of copying the works of others, Monet copied the scenes before him. The artist was fascinated by the changes in lighting as each day advanced. He reveled at how different a scene looks just because of the light that increased or decreased depending on how the day progresses. He would paint the same scenes at different times of the day, capturing the essence of the perfect light for a scene. Monet had several famous paintings in his career. One of them is the ?Bouquet of Sunflowers? (1881). The painting was larger than most, measured by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to be about 39 inches by 32 inches. Another painting is ?Woman with the Parasol?, which plays with light and shadows. In some versions of the painting (there were several), the woman served as the subject of the image, but in others she was just a supporting element of the image, which chose to highlight the landscape. In 1874, a group of artists organized an exhibition at the studio of G.F.T. Nadar, a photographer who lived in Paris. This art show was attended by over 3,000 guests, who since then referred to the group of artists as "Impressionists" because they perceived some of the paintings to be unfinished and the guests simply got an impression of what the artist was trying to say, rather than the full message. In addition to that, one of Monet?s paintings was entitled "Impression - Sunrise ". The artists whose paintings were on display referred to their group as the "Independents". Monet was a landscape painter, but many acknowledge his title as the Founder of French Impressionist Painting.

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Vase With Twelve Sunflowers
by Vincent Van Gogh

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