Claude Monet

Claude Monet
1840
Paris (France)
1926
Giverny (France)

Claude Monet was born in Paris and grew up in Le Havre in Normandy. It was when he met the painter Eugène Boudin (1824-1898) that he started to paint from nature. He then moved to Paris in 1859, and joined the studio of Charles Gleyre (1806-1874) where he met the painters Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) and Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870). Edouard Manet had an influence on him in the early 1860s, although he developed his personal, informal style in his landscapes. Having taken refuge in London during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, Monet returned to France to set up home in Argenteuil. Claude Monet is known as one of the most famous painters of the Impressionist movement, which took its name from one of his paintings, Impression, soleil levant [Impression, Sunrise], dated 1872 (Musée Marmottan, Paris). He took part in most of the Impressionist exhibitions from 1874 onwards. In 1883, he settled in Giverny in Normandy. It was during this period that he began to paint series of certain subjects: haystacks, poplar trees, Rouen Cathedral, etc. From the late 1890s to his death in 1926, the painter devoted himself to the panoramic series of Water Lilies, of which the Musée de l’Orangerie has a unique series. In fact, the artist designed several paintings specifically for the building, and donated his first two large panels to the French State as a symbol of peace on the day following the Armistice of 12 November 1918. He also designed a unique space consisting of two oval rooms within the museum, giving the spectator, in Monet’s own words, "an illusion of an endless whole, of water without horizon and without shore", and making the museum’s Water Lilies a work that is without equal anywhere in the world. The Walter-Guillaume Collection also has the painting Argenteuil by Claude Monet dating from 1875. This work is an isolated example in this collection. In fact, it is thanks to Domenica that this one came into the collection around 1955.