Monet in the Modernism Period

Fine Arts Survey/ 2nd hour

7 May 2004

Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1841. He was a true leader of the modernism period. Modernism began around 1851 and lasted to 1929. Many European groups were created such as the Realists, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Symbolists, Cubists, and Surrealists. It was a time of rapid growth economically and politically. Printed images were becoming more widely available to the general public.

Monet grew up in Le Havre. His first occupation was a caricaturist. Boudin, Monet’s early mentor, converted him to landscape painting. In 1859 he studied in Paris at the Atelier Suisse and formed a friendship with Pissarro. Monet served two years of military service in Algiers. He returned to Le Havre and met Jongkind. Monet said he owed his perception of his eyes to Jongkind. In 1862 he entered the Gleyere in Paris. At the Gleyere Monet met the impressionist group Manet, Renoir, and Sisley. Monet had a deep devotion of painting the outdoors. One of his early works, Women in the Garden, illustrates his amibituosness of beauty. The picture is about 2.5 meters high and Monet would only paint if the lighting conditions were perfectly ideal.

Monet took refuge with Pissaro in England during the Franco-Prussian War. There he studied the works Constable and Turner and painted the Thames and London parks. In 1871 Monet moved to a village,on the Siene near Paris, named Argenteuil. Monet lived in the village of Argenteuil painting some of his most famous and joyest works of the Impressionest period. Also Renior, Manet, and Sisley painted in the village of Argenteuil. In 1883 Monet resided in Giverny where he experienced extreme poverty for a while. Monet began to prosper and by 1890 he was succesful enough to buy a house in Giverny and marry his mistress in 1892. Monet began to paint the famous, Haystacks or Grainstacks, and Rouen Cathedral. Monet gave these pictures a unique quality of being painted at different times with different daylight.

He traveled widely through Europe as his popularity grew and was even a guest of Queen Christiana. He increasly focused all of his attention on water garden at Giverny. This served as a theme for the series of paintings on, Water Lilies, that earlier was a small part, but grew to dominate his total work.

In his final years of life, terrible eyesight plagued Monet. Miracously, Monet still worked to the best of his ability until he died. Monet’s works are still studied today and used as examples of greatness in the art world. Paintings that evoke emotions in the human conscience are never forgotten.