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For Claude Monet the designation 'impressionist' always remained a source of pride. In spite of all the things critics have written about his work, Monet continued to be a true impressionist to the end of his very long life. He was so by deep conviction, and for his Impressionism he may have sacrificed many other opportunities that his enormous talent held out to him. Monet did not paint classical compositions with figures, and he did not become a portraitist, although his professional training included those skills. He chose a single genre for himself, landscape painting, and in that he achieved a degree of perfection none of his contemporaries managed to attain. Yet the little boy began by drawing caricatures. Boudin advised Monet to stop doing caricatures and to take up landscapes instead. The sea, the sky, animals, people, and trees are beautiful in the exact state in which nature created them - surrounded by air and light. Indeed, it was Boudin who passed on to Monet his conviction of the importance of working in the open air, which Monet would in turn transmit to his impressionist friends. Monet did not want to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He chose to attend a private school, L'Academie Suisse, established by an ex-model on the Quai d'Orfevres near the Pont Saint-Michel. One could draw and paint from a live model there for a modest fee. This was where Monet met the future impressionist Camille Pissarro. Later in Gleyre's studio, Monet met Auguste Renoir Alfred Sisley, and Frederic Bazille. Monet considered it very important that Boudin be introduced to his new friends. He also told his friends of another painter he had found in Normandy. This was the remarkable Dutchman Jongkind. His landscapes were saturated with colour, and their sincerity, at times even their naivete, was combined with subtle observation of the Normandy shore's variable nature. At this time Monet's landscapes were not yet characterized by great richness of colour. Rather, they recalled the tonalities of paintings by the Barbizon artists, and Boudin's seascapes. He composed a range of colour based on yellow-brown or blue-grey. At the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877 Monet presented a series of paintings for the first time: seven views of the Saint-Lazare train station. He selected them from among twelve he had painted at the station. This motif in Monet's work is in line not only with Manet's Chemin de fer (The Railway) and with his own landscapes featuring trains and stations at Argenteuil, but also with a trend that surfaced after the railways first began to appear. In 1883, Monet had bought a house in the village of Giverny, near the little town of Vernon. At Giverny, series painting became one of his chief working procedures. Meadows became his permanent workplace. When a journalist, who had come from Vetheuil to interview Monet, asked him where his studio was, the painter answered, "My studio! I've never had a studio, and I can't see why one would lock oneself up in a room. To draw, yes - to paint, no". Then, broadly gesturing towards the Seine, the hills, and the silhouette of the little town, he declared, "There's my real studio."Monet began to go to London in the last decade of the nineteenth century. He began all his London paintings working directly from nature, but completed many of them afterwards, at Giverny. The series formed an indivisible whole, and the painter had to work on all his canvases at one time. A friend of Monet's, the writer Octave Mirbeau, wrote that he had accomplished a miracle. With the help of colours he had succeeded in recreating on the canvas something almost impossible to capture: he was reproducing sunlight, enriching it with an infinite number of reflections. Alone among the impressionists, Claude Monet took an almost scientific study of the possibilities of colour to its limits; it is unlikely that one could have gone any further in that direction.
himself, his spontaneous decisions, stormy emotion and cold methodicalness, his consciousness of himself as a personality moulded by the preoccupations of his age, set against his extreme individualism — taken together these features elucidate much in Monet’s creative processes and attitudes towards his own work. 6. 3. Mouth of the Seine River in Honfleur, 1865. Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California. Claude-Oscar Monet was born in Paris on November 14, people, animals, buildings and
about this picture: “We cannot even dream of St. Petersburg or Moscow purchasing such a painting as this Déjeuner sous bois by Claude Monet.” 53. 39. LADY IN THE GARDEN (SAINTE-ADRESSE) 1867. Oil on canvas. 80 x 99 cm. Signed, bottom left: Claude Monet. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Inventory No. 6506. W., I, 68. he precise dating of this painting to 1867 is based on depicted was a corner of the Lecadres’ garden and the model the style of the lady’s dress, which fully conforms to the
Masterpieces from the USSR. Tokyo, 1971. 1972, Otterlo April 30-July 16. State Museum Kröller-Müller. From Van Gogh to Picasso. Exhibition from the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Hermitage in Leningrad. Otterlo, 1972. 1972, Prague Národní Galerie. Kresby evropskych mistru XV-XX století ze sbírek státní Ermitáze v Leningrade. Prague, 1972. 1973, Washington, New York,… Chicago… Washington. National Gallery of Art. New York. M. Knoedler and Co. Los Angeles. County Museum of Arts. Chicago. The Art
“Impressionist” as an towards their ideals and principles, rather than being at the mercy of its tastes and demands. This struggle was unparalleled, insult, soon accepted it and grew to love it. Monet’s Le Havre landscape corresponded precisely for in the entire history of French art up to the appearance of the Impressionists there had actually been no group exhibitions with the essentials of the movement which would be termed “Impressionism” in the 1880s and 1890s by French critics, and
watercolours and sketches in oils red, ring out loudly and confidently. Always preoccupied with the problems of rendering light and air, Monet had thus by the directly from nature. More often than not, however, these works constituted supplementary material used towards the late 1870s or early 1880s achieved a heightened expressiveness of colour and a powerful and dynamic brushstroke. creation of the final, completed canvas. The Impressionists, and Monet more than anyone, wanted to transform