Artist of the Week: Claude Monet

Painting: Water Lilies (1908)

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

Claude Oscar Monet is a renowned impressionist painter who was born in Paris in1840. Monet is attributed as the founder of the Impressionist movement, which derived its name from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise. The term originally came from an art critic, Louis Leroy, who said that Monet’s painting “was just an impression and that the work could not be considered finished.

Monet was not always a successful artist. In his early years his work was not widely received and as a result his family lived in poverty. It was only later that Monet became successful when people began to appreciate his avant-garde style. He was then able to buy a house in Giverny which had a garden that inspired a lot of his work. Monet was very fond of his garden calling it his “most beautiful masterpiece”.

Many of Monet’s paintings were done ‘en plein air’ (a French term often used with regards to painting meaning “in the open air”). The reason for this was to experiment and paint the effects of light. Monet looked to capture these effects in one of his most famous series of paintings, Water Lilies. The inspiration for the pieces came from his water-lily pond in his garden. His pond became some-what of an obsession for him as he painted it became his only subject until his death. Even when his eye-sight began to deteriorate he did all he could to continue painting, resulting in creating around 250 paintings of the water-lilies from 1900 until his death. Monet’s tenacity paid off as the series of paintings have become one of his most celebrated works of art.

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Art in the picture. [Internet]. 2014. Impressionism – Styles & Movements. The Art in the website. Available from: [Accessed 10 June 2014].
Claude Monet Gallery. [Internet]. 2014. Claude Oscar Monet Biography. The Claude Monet Available from: [Accessed 10 June 2014].
Claude Monet Website. [Internet]. 2010. Water Lilies, by Claude Monet. The Claude website. Available from: [Accessed 10 June 2014].
Good Reads. [Internet]. 2014. Claude Monet Quotes. The website. Available from: [Accessed 10 June 2014].
Monet-Claude. [Internet]. 2014. Claude Monet Biography. The website. Available from: [Accessed 10 June 2014].

Berrong, R.M. [Accessed 10 June 2014]
Phan, M. [Accessed 10 June 2014]
Weekend Notes. [Accessed 10 June 2014]