(French, 1840–1926) is celebrated as a pioneering member of the Impressionist movement. Monet was born in Paris, and moved with his family to Le Havre in Normandy when he was a child. As a young man he met Eugène Boudin
(French, 1824-1898), a painter who introduced Monet to painting en plein air
, which would influence his work for the rest of his life. Monet moved to Paris in 1859, and spent the next several years studying art in the city and returning to Le Havre to paint with Boudin, while a few of his works were exhibited at the Paris salons.
In 1874, Monet created with Pierre-Auguste Renoir
, Alfred Sisley
, Camille Pissarro
, Edgar Degas
et Berthe Morisot
the Société Anonyme des Artistes, which embraced the avant-garde techniques that were continually rejected by the salons; Monet’s famous work Impression, Sunrise
was exhibited at their first group show. The paintings, with their expressionistic brushstroke and embrace of color, light, and form over naturalistic depictions, caused uproar among critics. One critic took the title of Monet’s painting and used the word “impressionism” disdainfully in his review of the group; the Société Anonyme appropriated the word, however, naming themselves the Impressionists.
Monet later moved to Vétheuil where he exhibited his work, including his series of haystacks and the Rouen cathedral
series, with other Impressionist artists represented by the influential dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who organized several exhibitions of Impressionist paintings that received great praise in later years. In 1890 Monet moved to his home in Giverny, painting scenes of his garden as well as his famous series of water lilies
, which achieved an aesthetic bordering on abstraction towards the end of his life. Monet died in Giverny in 1926, at 86 years old. His work can be found in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and many other institutions around the world.