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Today in History (1840): Master Impressionist Claude Oscar Monet is Born

No one has probably done more for the Impressionist movement in art than the master impressionist himself, Claude Oscar Monet. The great artist continued to hone his skill in portraying nature and outdoor situations in his life even during the final years of his life.

Born Claude Oscar Monet on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France, the prized artist had discovered early his love of drawing and never looked back ever since. He was not a poor student but he had an affinity for the life outside the classroom. Instead of studying inside the confines of the classroom, the young Monet would meander off outside and marvel at the different wonders of nature.

It was a fateful encounter with Eugene Boudin, a local landscape artist, who opened the door for Monet to develop his signature style and affinity for painting the natural world. Known as plein air painting, the natural colors of the world around him would be the pillar of Monet’s artistic masterpieces.

Claude Monet enrolled in the Academie Suisse in 1859 but felt like the traditional style of the Renaissance era still prevalent at the time was too restricting for him. After serving in the military from 1861 to 1862, Monet was discharged for medical reasons and returned to Paris. Monet continued to develop his signature style of bold and brightly colored paintings characterized with short bursts of brush strokes.

The famed artist also fought bouts with depression, most notably during the death of his mother and during financial strains that evidently pushed him to attempt suicide by drowning himself in the Seine River in 1868.

Although the term “Impressionist” was really meant to dismiss the work of Monet as incomplete sketches and looked like unfinished paintings. Monet clung to that insult and used it as a defining style in his works, working with more vigor and determination to further his art. His masterpiece series “Waterlilies” is still considered to be one of the greatest works of art in the modern world. His use of bold colors and quick brush strokes were perfected by countless days of sitting outside and admiring the beauty of the environment.

Monet continued to paint even his final years. After going under 2 operations for his cataracts, the master impressionist painted more waterlilies and scenes of nature only with a different color palette but still with the same artistic sense and artisanal quality honed through the years. Claude Oscar Monet died on December 5, 1926 at the age of 86. His life revolved more around his works than anything else in it.

All information and photos used in this article were sourced from Biography.com – Claude Monet, Claude Monet Gallery and Claude Monet Works.

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written by cheeo

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