Hey Kids, Meet Claude Monet
from the Hey Kid's, Meet the Artist! Index


Claude Monet (1840-1926) French Artist

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Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1840. He was the second child of Louise-Justine Aubry and Claude Adolphe Monet. In 1845, the Monet family settled near the ocean in Ingouville, France.

In 1851, Claude began attending school. He studied many subjects including art. When he was a young teenager it became apparent he had artistic ability. Claude would draw caricatures of his teachers on his schoolwork. By the time he was 15 he had developed a reputation as a caricature artist, and his caricatures were displayed in the window of a local frame maker's shop where people began to recognize their fellow villagers in the drawings. Claude soon began to charge people to draw their caricatures and was able to make a steady income.

Claude's mother died on January 28, 1857. The Monet family soon moved to Le Havre, France. A year later the young artist met landscape painter Eugene-Louis Boudin, a mentor who first introduced Claude to Plein Air (outdoor) painting. Claude was reluctant at first to leave the studio and the familiarity of indoor scenes. Eventually he joined Eugene, spending many hours painting directly from nature. The ocean particularly inspired Claude. He liked the way the light reflected off objects and the water.

In 1860 Monet was drafted into the military and sent to Algeria. During these years of service Monet did not paint at all. Upon his return to Paris he picked up where he left off and began painting again. Monet also met Camille Doncieux in Paris, and then married her in 1870. Camille modeled for many of his paintings.

Monet became known as an "Impressionist" - a title derived from his painting, "Impression, Sunrise ". The work has an unfinished look, which was very different from the paintings of artists who lived before him. The brush strokes were lively and spontaneous, capturing the feeling of the moment. He said, "Landscape is nothing but an impression, and an instantaneous one, hence this label that was given us, by the way because of me."

In his later works Monet continued to capture the affect of light. Sometimes he would paint the same object over and over again, but at different times of day or year. Examples of these works include his haystacks, morning views of the Seine, the Gare Saint-Lazare, Poplars, the Thames, Rouen Cathedral, and his celebrated series of water lilies.

Claude Monet died in Giverny, France on December 5, 1926. It took many years for people to appreciate his work. Today, the art of Monet is an inspiration to many artists around the world.

Claude Monet Lesson Resources

Claude Monet | Word Search Worksheet
Lily Pond | Impressionist Painting Lesson
"Meet the Artist" Job Application | Worksheet

Claude Monet Art Gallery

 width= Impression Sunrise (1872) by Claude Monet | Oil on Canvas

Impression, Sunrise began the Impressionist movement. Its subject in the harbour of Le Harve in France.

 width= Water Lillies (1914) by Claude Monet | Oil on Canvas

This work is one in a series of approximately 250 paintings. The paintings depict Monet's flower garden at Giverny, France.






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