Monet Facts
Monet Facts

21 Artistic Claude Monet Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published February 10, 2021
  • Before Monet was a painter, he was a caricaturist. He signed his work "O. Monet." His first name is Oscar, and Claude is his middle name.[4]
  • In 1861, Monet was drafted to fight in Algeria. Despite contracting typhoid there, he later reflected that "the impressions of light and color that I received there . . . contained the germ of my future researches."[4]
  • After the birth of his first son, Monet attempted suicide by jumping into the Seine. He was living in poverty, cut off from his father (who disapproved of his relationship), and disappointed in the French art scene. Luckily, he survived and later helped found the Impressionist movement.[4]
  • When he was 72 years old, Monet developed cataracts. Because cataracts make colors more reddish-yellow, Monet's painting became more abstract and red-colored. While he was deeply troubled by his vision loss, his work during this time was a bridge between Impressionism and abstract art.[4]
  • Monet Biography
    Monet was an avid gardener
  • Monet not only loved to paint water lilies, he planted them, too. He even diverted a pond into his yard (much to the consternation of his neighbors) to build a huge water-lily pond.[3]
  • After Monet developed cataracts, he agreed to have surgery on his right eye only. It is believed that after the surgery, Monet could see and paint a wide spectrum of colors usually not seen by the human eye.[1]
  • Monet built a studio boat, or bateau-atelier, that allowed him to get close to the water he loved, and he often painted on the boat.[4]
  • At the end of WW I, Monet donated a series of Nympheas to France. The room where they hang in the Musée de l'Orangerie is hailed as the "Sistine Chapel of Impressionism."[4]
  • Monet died of lung cancer on December 5, 1926, at the age of 86. When a black cloth was placed on his coffin, his friend replaced it with a floral one, exclaiming "No, no black for Monet!"[4]
  • Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.

    - Claude Monet

  • Although his family wanted him to enroll at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, Monet did not have a formal education. He learned from other artists, especially Eugene Boudin, who introduced him to painting outside rather than in a studio.[3]
  • Monet's parents called him Oscar to distinguish him from his father, who also was named Claude. Monet's father wanted his son to join the family's grocery and shipping supply company.[3]
  • The Impressionist movement derives its name from Monet's Impression, Sunrise.[4]
  • Impression Facts
    This is Monet's 1872 painting that inspired the name of the artistic movement

  • Monet spent most his childhood along the coast of Normandy. His intimate knowledge of the sea and its weather influenced his stunning view of nature.[3]
  • A painting from Monet's Haystacks series sold for $110.7 million in 2019, making it the most expensive Impressionist artwork ever to be bought at auction.[2]
  • The largest collection of Monet paintings is housed in the Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris, which includes the famous Impression, Sunrise.[3]
  • Monet was influenced by Japanese art, and over his lifetime, he collected a variety of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints.[4]
  • Monet and Japanese Influence
    Japanese art strongly influenced Monet's own style

  • Monet created around 2,500 paintings, drawings, and pastels. However, the number may be larger because Monet destroyed a number of his own works and others have been lost.[3]
  • Manet and Monet were friends in real life. They both painted in an impressionistic style, but Manet was closer to realism.[3]
  • Monet suffered from depression. It is estimated that he destroyed some 500 works during his bouts of self-doubt and frustration.[3]
  • Monet's favorite model was his first wife, Camille Doncieux. He painted around 32 works of her and was devastated when she died of uterine cancer after the birth of their second child. He painted her one last time as she lay on her deathbed.[3]
  • Camille Monet Fact
    Camille on Her Death Bed is one of the most powerful of Monet's paintings, if not one of the most poignant paintings in history

  • Monet's mentor, Eugene Boudin, was one of the first artists to adopt "plein air" (in full air) painting, to watch and capture the light on natural forms.[3]
  • Unique Claude Monet Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Unique Claude Monet Facts

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