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Claude Monet


By: Angeleki Zecopoulos

Art History Honors





Claude Monet 



Vibrant colors, nature, and the beauty of new ideas prefctly sum up the works of Claude Monet. Water lilies, majestic castles, cliffs, and enchanting visuals of water are example of what sets Monet apart from te rest. His uses of light, angles, and unconventioanl scenes for the time evoke a lighthearted beautiful feeling in my soul. As I looked through the works of Monet I noticed that his use of vivid tones, contrasting colors, large scale works, and murals left me wanting more and picturing the beauty caputerd in each color seen in every hour of the day. No other artist in this unit inspired me more though their use of color, which is what I find most appealing about Monet. I hope to fully explore his uses of color and vibrancy that sets him so far apart from all other artists.   




Claude Monet, or Oscar-Claude Monet, was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. He had one younger brother and was raised by Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet, both second-generation Parisians. He was baptised in the Catholic faith at the age of one, but later became an atheist. At the age of five Monet and his family relocated to Le Havre, Normandy. Despite his father's wishes of him staying in the family grocery business, Monet decided that he wanted to be an artist as he was inspired by his mother who was a singer and gave him full support. On April 1, 1851 Monet enrolled in Le Havre Secondary School of the Arts. He was originally known for his charcoal caricatures, but was taught oil painting by mentors,  Jacques-François Ochard and Eugène Louis Boudin. Monet was inspired by outdoor painting techniques, as well as the beauty of nature itself. On 28 January 1857, his mother died. At the age of sixteen, he left school and went to live with his widowed, childless aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre.

Life of an Artist




His Repertoire




Impressionism is an art movement characterized by relatively small and thin brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, natural subject matter, movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s. Monet was a key figure in the impressionist movement during the 19th Century. Inspired by nature in Paris and Normandy, Monet led a huge artistic movement. Monet was introduced to plein-air painting by Eugène Boudin, studied with landscapist Johan Jongkind, and Jacques-François Orchard. Edouard Manet inspired Monet to work with bold colors, loose handling, and unconventional composition ideas. Monet was inspired by the asymmetry of Japanese woodblock prints. His work had many vibrant unmediated colors and he used light primers on the canvas before painting unlike most landscape paintings at the time that used dark colors. 

Monet was a master of shadows and tones that brought his natural depictions to life. Monet would often observe scenes at varying times of day in order to incorporate colors and viewpoints of the landscapes. Later in life he began to experiment with smaller brushstrokes creating huge harmonious or contrasting pieces. He is known for being a colorist, and painter of light and atmospheres whose later works inspired the abstract painters of the future. An inspiration and a leader among the Impressionists, he was crucial in attracting Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Edouard Manet and Camille Pissaro to work alongside each other in and around Paris. He was also important in establishing the exhibition society that would showcase the group's work between 1874 and 1886.

Irises in Monet's Gardes (1900)



Impression, Sunrise

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Date: 1872

Location:Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris


San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Date: 1912

Location: National Museum Cardiff of Cardiff, Wales


Charing Cross Bridge

Medium: Oil on Canvas


Location: Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, Lyon


Morning on the Seine Near Giverny


Medium: Oil on Canvas


Location:The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY


Woman With A Parasol

Medium: Oil on Cnvas


Location: Washington National Gallery of Art, D.C. 


Water Lilies 

Medium: Oil on Canvas


Location: The Art Institue of Chicago Building, Illinois



Medium: Oil on Canvas

Date: 1881

Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, NY

This painting is one of my favorites becuase of its simplicity and because it depicts sunflowers. The painting uses vibrant colors, mostly green, red, and yellow dominating the canvas. It is an oil painting and is so appealing an somewhat unique among the works of Monet because it is a simple painting of a vase and not of an entire landscape shot. The painting uses small brushtrokes of oil on canvas as as bright tones and shades that conttrast from the dull background. It simplistic uses of a central focal point being nature and beauty is what lends it towards the impressionist movement. The thing that appeals to me the most ids the color and the fact that it is of sunflower, which are my favorite flower. They also are very earthy and hearty compared to the whymsical flowers that Monet usually paints, foe example lilies and wisteria. The painting makes me feel happy and positive as the dull tones are outshadowed by the vibrancy of the flowers. Also, the splash of blue on the vase stands out to me and is a very interesting artistic choice that Monet made. 



Le Parlement

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Date: 1904

Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, NY

This piece is very beautiful and to me, one of the most enchanting of all of Monet's works because of its castle-esque appearnce. The colors that most dominate the art are the warm tones of the sunset as well as the cool tones in the castle. The thin stokes that are used to make this painting almost give it a firey overtone. The uses of reflecting water as well as the wide landscape give it the impressionist lable as well as its uses of bright colorsr and thin lines. The part that appeals most to me is probably the warm tones used in a montage of color in the painting. This creates such a mysterious look that makes me feel probably more curious thatn anyhting else. I want to jump inside and explore the whishpy strokes that creat this masterpiece. 




The works of Clade Monet more than anything shaped the sucess and beauty of the impressionist movement. I most enjoyed getting to see all the new paintings and looking in depth into one artist. I think that at this point Monet is one of my favorite arists due to his unique works and choice of artistic choices. Beauty in nature translates with a certian radiance onto the canvas.


Works Cited

"Google Arts & Culture." Google Arts & Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

"Museum of Modern Art | MoMA." The Museum of Modern Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.


"Met Audio Guide Online." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I.e. The Met Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

"Claude Monet." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

"Claude Oscar Monet - The Complete Works." Claude Oscar Monet - The Complete Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

"Claude Oscar Monet Biography." Claude Oscar Monet Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.


"Claude Monet." A&E Networks Television, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

"Claude Monet Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works." The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.