“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”
“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life — the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”
Oscar-Claude Monet, who is famous for his Landscape paintings, was born on, 14th November 1840, in Paris, France. He was a founder of French Impressionist painting. He was the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy, of expressing an individual’s thoughts before nature through Landscape. Monet adopted a method of painting, in which the same scene was repeated many times so as to capture the change of light and passing of the seasons, from French countryside while documenting. In 1899, he was best-known for his painting of the water lilies, first time in vertical views, with a Japanese bridge as a central feature. Hence, he became one of the best painters in the list of large-scale paintings for about his next twenty years of life.
“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”
Monet’s life was marked by a series of unlucky events. His father had always wanted him to go in to business, but his interests were embedded deep in arts. So when he chose to become an artist’s, relationship between him and his father grew very strained, so much that even when he and his wife were in dire need of financial help for their first son, his father refused to send even a penny and as a result of this, he even attempted to commit suicide. Although in the beginning he gained some fame and recognition, it wasn’t enough to get him content financially. His family suffered immensely. Any other man would have left the arts and taken up another job, but Monet knew well enough that art was his true passion and his determination helped him see better days.
Monet, after meeting so many rejections with his other like-minded artists, started to exhibit their artworks independently. “Impressionist” exhibition being their first exhibition, held in April 1874, Monet exhibited his work that was to give the group its lasting name. In 1872, they depicted a port landscape, which was known as Le Havre port, on the Impression, Sunrise. This was reviewed by critics as Impressionists appropriated the term for themselves.
During his travel to Paris, he saw many painters copying from their old masters. But as it’s a natural way of an artist, he used to sit beside a corner of a window, with the equipment that he had, started to paint what he see outside. It was a realistic one. Having passionate about painting, he worked under Charles Gleyre and became friends with Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frederic Bazille and Alfred Sisley. They together shared their thoughts about new approaches to art, painting the effects of light with broken color and rapid brushstrokes, which later came to be called as Impressionism. Monet, on 5th December 1926, at the age of 86, died due to lung cancer and was buried in the Giverny church cemetery. Thus, Monet has been sculptured as “the driving force behind Impressionism”.
“It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them.”“I am following Nature without being able to grasp her.”