(PCM) French impressionist painter Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840 and would be celebrating his 175th birthday if he were alive today. It is based upon Monet’s painting “Impression, Sunrise” that the term impressionism was coined as a way to describe his particular style of art.
Monet shunned the ways of the old art masters and developed a style that was based heavily upon nature and expressing one’s perceptions before nature. His most famous works consist of disjointed, rapid brushstrokes pieced together to create dreamy landscape images. Monet would often times paint the same nature or landscape scene over and over again capturing the changing of light patterns at various times throughout the day and also the passing of the seasons.
From the year 1883 until his death in 1926, Monet lived in Giverny. He obtained a home and large property on which he landscaped an awe-inspiring garden that later became the subject of many of his most well-know pieces of art, especially the water lilies.
To honor and celebrate Claude Monet’s birthday we have gathered together five facts about his life that you may not know!
1. His name was really not Claude! Monet was baptized and given the official name of Oscar-Claude. His parents always called him Oscar.
2. Monet actually despised modern art. He and a group of artists would meet regularly to discuss what changes could impact the art world and those discussions eventually went on to become the foundation of Impressionism.
3. Monet’s wife was the subject of many of his most famous painting, but perhaps not for the reason you think. While Monet did love his wife and enjoy painting his family, along with his landscapes, he also did not have a whole lot of money early on his career. He may have used his wife in paintings such as “Women In The Garden” and “Back on the Seine” because he could not afford to pay models to pose.
4. Monet was fascinated with the concept of death. Many of the core themes in his works pertain to exploring death, particularly his own. He also painted an intensely dark portrait of his wife on her deathbed which to this day is quite chilling to behold.
5. He is responsible for personally designing all of the gardens at Giverny. His famous water lilies are looked at as his lifetime masterpiece and he actually painted 250 works in the series.