Oscar-Claude Monet, born November 14, 1840, was a French painter who found Impressionist painting and is considered a precursor to modernism. He was a staunch believer in the idea of expressing one’s perceptions and applying them to nature. Though Monet was a prolific painter who produced masterpiece after masterpiece, his most famous painting is “Water Lilies.” He was married twice and had three children with his first wife. He was often inspired by visions of nature and the outdoors in general. Though he passed away in 1926 at the age of 86, Monet left behind an artistic legacy that lives on to this day.
November 14, 1840
December 5, 1926 (age 86)
Claude Monet was born in Paris, France. His father ran a grocery business that young Monet was expected to run when he grew up. However, he had ambitions to become a painter. Monet met painter Eugene Boudin and was taught how to paint with oil paints. Boudin was the one who encouraged Monet to paint outside — something that eventually became a fixture of Monet’s work.
At the age of 20, Monet joined the French Army for two years and was stationed in Algeria. By 1862, however, he fell ill and left the army to study art. He found that he disliked how art was taught at university and joined a painter named Charles Gleyre in his studio. This phase in his career led him to meet Camile Doncieux, who worked as his model. They had a child together in 1866 and married four years later. The same year, Monet and his family moved to England to escape the ravages of the Franco-Prussian War. He went on to have two more children with Doncieux. In 1879, Doncieux passed away from tuberculosis. A woman by the name of Alice Hoschede decided to help the painter by taking care of his children. In 1883, Monet moved his family to a home in Giverny. Monet married Hoschede in 1892.
Monet planted a garden in his Giverny house and later found that it inspired him to paint pictures of it — specifically his water lilies. Monet used broad brush strokes to create his work. He painted swiftly so that he was able to capture the lighting of the scene. In his later paintings, he would often paint the same subjects in different lighting.
Monet joins the French army in Algeria.
Monet leaves the army and joins university.
Monet paints “Impression, Sunrise,” the future namesake for impressionism.
Monet passes away.
Why We Love Claude Monet
He was a talented painter
Monet was a very talented painter. Almost a century after his death, his work is still some of the best-known.
He influenced future art
Monet’s work inspired many future art movements. He is considered a very influential artist.
He was a nature-lover
Much of Monet’s work featured nature. He displayed a love for the outside world in most of his work.
5 Surprising Facts
He was a caricaturist
Before he became a painter, Monet was a caricaturist.
He was inspired by Japanese art
Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints inspired Monet.
He developed cataracts
Monet developed cataracts later in life, leading to the red tones in his later work.
He created a studio boat
Monet made a studio boat where he painted on water.
He died of lung disease
Monet passed away from lung disease.
Claude Monet FAQs
What is Claude Monet famous for?
Monet is famous for his impressionist art.
What is Claude Monet's most famous piece?
“Water Lilies” is Monet’s most famous painting.
What is Monet's first painting?
Monet’s first painting was “View from Rouelles.”
Claude Monet’s birthday dates