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Claude Monet

1840-1926

 

Monet spent some time at Honfleur, visiting his friend Boudin, and while at the St-Siméon Farm, he met his first patron, Mr. Gaudibert.  Monet's works were then submitted for the first time to the official Salon.  "La Femme En Vert" is shown to the great acclaim of art aficionados and critics alike,  who believed it to be a new work from Manet, who on the other hand, did not share the same appreciation for the painting, after discovering the masterpiece he was being congratulated for,  was that of Claude Monet. 

later on, Monet and Manet became friends, and the two would get together to discuss art with their close circle of friends which included luminaries such as Paul Cézanne , and writer Émile Zola, at the Café des Batignolles.

By the time Monet's first son, jean was born, Monet was beginning to have trouble with his eyesight; this was only one of many misfortunes that would plague him and Camille; his family had disowned him for his association with Camille, and her having being pregnant out of wedlock; None of the paintings he had shown at the International Maritime Exhibition at Le Havre were sold, and his debts were such that creditors had seized his canvasses as collateral.  At some point, he was so depressed he even attempted to commit suicide.  

But Claude and Camille's friends were always close at hand, and helped the couple thru their hardships; Mr. Gaudibert commissioned a full-length, life-size portrait of Mrs. Gaudibert from Monet.  This commission helped Claude and Camille survive through hard times, and they soon got back on their feet as Monet's reputation as a gifted artist gained momentum.

Shortly after they got married, Claude and Camille were forced to move to London, England to escape the rigors of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.  During his sojourn, Monet painted several canvasses, and had several successful showings.  He then returned to France and settled with his family in the village of Argenteuil, where he continued to work and sell paintings.  

In 1874, Monet organized the very first Impressionism Show, which featured the works of greats such as Cézanne, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, and his mentor Eugène Boudin, just a few of over thirty artists showing at Nadar’s Studio. At first, the critics weren't too kind towards the artists' work, which went against the status quo of the art world, but subsequent shows, and continuing public success soon had them change their verdict to a favorable one.

Following the sale of some of his works to Edouard Manet, Claude and his family, which now included a second son, Michel, moved to Vétheuil, sharing a residence with Ernest, and Alice Hoschedé, who had in the past purchased a large collection of Monet's works.  In a cruel twist of fate, the Hoschedé family was bankrupt, and had to sell their collection of paintings for next to nothing.

A year later, Camille died, and Alice Hoschedé took over the care of the Monet children. Three years later,  Claude Monet moved to Giverny, where he would remain until his death, 43 years later.  While at Giverny, Claude Monet took up gardening; his famous paintings of waterlilies are a good example of the symbiotic relationship that existed between between Monet and nature.

Monet was a true master, a true genius who's understanding of light and color helped him create some of the most important impressionist paintings in the history of art.

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