Claude Monet

French (1840 - 1926)
Claude Monet Haystacks: Snow Effect 1891

Biography

Born 1840
Died 1926
Nationality French
Birth place Paris
Death place Giverny

Monet is the most famous of the Impressionist artists. His painting 'Impression, Sunrise', shown in Paris in 1874, prompted critics to label him and fellow exhibitors as 'Impressionists'. Monet had moved to Paris from Le Havre, Normandy, where, inspired by Boudin, he painted landscapes in the open air. Encouraged by friends he met in Paris, including Pissarro and Renoir, he continued throughout his long and prolific life to capture in his paintings through the vivid use of colour changing light effects. He was to refine this interest through his 'series' pictures, exploring the same subject at different times of day and year.

Glossary terms

  • A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.

  • An influential style of painting that originated in France in the 1870s with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They were interested in capturing the changing effects of light, frequently exploring this through landscape scenes painted in the open air.

  • Oil paint is a mixture of pigment particles suspended in a drying oil. When exposed to air, it slowly dries, forming a tough, coloured film. The slow drying property of the paint is advantageous to artists as it allows them to work up a painting gradually, making corrections as they go. Oil paint can also be thinned and blended with each other to create subtle variations of colour, light and shadow.

Exhibitions

Exhibition finished
Inspiring Impressionism | Daubigny | Monet | Van Gogh
  • 25 June 2016 to 2 October 2016
  • £11
National
Exhibition finished
Impressionist Gardens
  • 31 July 2010 to 17 October 2010
National