Artist Profile

Claude Monet

Friday is Artist Profile Day!

Let’s Meet Claude Monet

Water Lilies 8, 1908

Artist: Claude Monet (also known as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet)

Born: November 14, 1840

Died: December 5, 1926 died from lung cancer

Where they lived: Monet was born in Paris. He moved throughout Europe during his lifetime.

Windmills In Holland

Family: He married Camille Doncieux and had two sons, Jean, and Michel. He used his wife as a model for many of his paintings. In 1868 while Camille was pregnant with Jean, Monet tried to commit suicide due to financial hardships; by throwing himself into the Seine.

Her health was declining prior to the birth of Michel. At the age of 32 in September 1879 Camille died from tuberculosis. Monet painted her on her death-bed. His son Jean died in 1914.

Claude remarried Alice Hoschedé in 1892 who helped him raise his two sons. Alice died in 1911. Her daughter Blanche (married to Claude’s son Jean) looked after Claude after Alice’s death.

Background: Claude and his parents moved to Normandy in 1845. His mother died in 1857. His father owned a grocery store which he had hoped Claude would take over. His mother was a singer.

Professional background/training: In April 1851, Monet entered La Havre secondary school of arts. He took drawing lessons from Jacques-François Ochard. In 1856-57, on the beaches of Normandy he met Eugène Boudin who taught him plein-air (outdoor) paint techniques. He met Édouard Manet upon returning to Paris. He went Charles Gleyre in Paris and this is where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley (who all shared similar techniques that later became Impressionism). They were keen to remove the color black from their palettes.

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. ”
– Claude Monet

The Bridge In Monet’s Garden

Art medium used: Oil paint and pastels

Subject Matters: Landscapes (deep fascination with the effects of light and time of day), leisure activities, seascapes, rivers, gardens. He painted people and places he knew.

Famous Artwork: Haystack series, Poplars, Rouen Cathedral, Water Lilies

“I am following Nature without being able to grasp her… I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ”
– Claude Mone

Irises in Monet’s Garden

Other Information: Founder of French Impressionist painting (known for his plein-air landscape painting). Impressionism came from his painting Impression, Sunset.

Impression, Sunrise

Military Service: In 1861, he joined the First Regiment of African Light Calvary in Algeria for a 7-year commitment but contracted typhoid.

Monet moved to England to escape the Franco-Prussian War. He also travelled to Zaandam and Amsterdam before he returned to France.


In 1883, Monet with his 2 sons and Alice with her 6 children; moved to Giverny which gave Monet the space and inspiration to create many series of paintings until his death. His first series is Haystacks which were painted from different points of views and at different times of day. Other series includes: Poplars, Rouen Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, Water Lilies, and Mornings on the Seine.

Home and Garden of Claude Monet, Giverny France

He developed cataracts and had two operations on them in 1923. While he suffered from cataracts his paintings have reddish undertones. After his operations, his eyesight changed so that he was seeing different wavelengths of light so he re-painted some of his artwork to match his new eyesight.




National Gallery

Oil Painting Techniques

Palettes of the Masters

Claude Monet

Artsy Claude Monet

MET Museum

Claude Monet Biography

Claude Monet Gallery


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