Claude Monet (kload moh-nay)
was born in Le Havre, France. He was a
poor student, but he developed great skill
in drawing. Monet studied at the Paris
Academy, which required any works that
were exhibited to follow strict rules.
The Academy's shows were the only way artists
could advertise and sell their work.
Monet and a group of young artists soon
tired of the Academy rules. They left to
paint outdoors and later submitted their
works to the Academy—which, of course,
rejected them. They painted with dabs of
color that, when viewed from a distance,
blended together to create the illusion
of outdoor light.
In 1874 the group of artists held their
own exhibit. One of Monet’s paintings
in this exhibit was called Impression:
Sunrise. The show shocked the public,
and an angry critic named the group Impressionists,
based on the title of Monet's painting.
Still, Monet’s work became popular,
and by 1883 he was able to move his family
to the country and support them on the
income he made from selling his paintings.
Always concerned with the effects of light,
Monet realized that light was in a state
of constant change. He made many paintings
of the same scene to capture these changes.
In 1883, Monet settled in Giverny and designed
his own gardens, including the water lily
pond that is seen in his work. Monet’s
70-year career was a bridge from true Impressionism
to a later, more abstract style. His unique
fascination with changing light led to
many insights into how the human eye sees