Claude Monet: The Most Iconic French Artist of Last Century


Impressionism plays a critical, though contradictory, role in the shifting perception of the painting endeavor in the nineteenth century. The new style was first developed in the hands of Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and others in the spirit of illusionism. However, as it progressed, many of its beliefs emerged as anti-illusionist. Monet is considered as the quintessential Impressionist since his dedication to the movement’s principles remained steadfast throughout his lengthy career, and it is fitting that one of his paintings, Impressionism: Sunrise, gave the movement its name. His art portrays the intricacies as well as the contradictions of this historical occurrence. Furthermore, it demonstrates how impressionism is a watershed moment in the evolution of contemporary art

Claude Monet, The Most Iconic French Artist of Last Century
Self Portrait With A Baret, via https://www.claudemonetgallery.org/

Claude Monet was born in 1840 in Paris. He met Eugène Boudin, a landscape painter who had a major effect on the young artist, during an exhibition of his caricatures in 1858. Boudin introduced Monet to outdoor painting, a hobby he unwillingly pursued but which quickly formed the foundation of his life’s work

Claude Monet, The Most Iconic French Artist of Last Century
Impression Sunrise, via https://www.claudemonetgallery.org/

Natural light, atmosphere, and color captured his mind, and he dedicated himself to an increasingly exact documentation of their fascinating diversity. He deliberately sought diversity and ultimately gained a remarkable sensitivity for the tiny details of each scene he visited. According to Cézanne, Monet has the most amazing sight since there have been painters.

Early in his career, he was sometimes impoverished, but he began to flourish in the 1880s and by 1890 had amassed enough wealth to buy the home at Giverny where he had lived since 1883. Beginning in 1890, he focused on a sequence of paintings in which he painted the same subject several times of day and in varied lighting. . He was the most persistent and productive practitioner of impressionism’s idea of expressing one’s perceptions in front of nature, particularly as it related to plein air (outside) landscape painting.

Claude Monet, The Most Iconic French Artist of Last Century
The Rouen Cathedral series, via YouTube

Claude Monet was the only survivor of the Impressionist group that showed in the inaugural Impressionist exhibition in 1874, and in his later years he was known as the Grand Old Man of French painting, as well as a friend of Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and other notables. He had a major effect on late-nineteenth and twentieth-century art as a prominent character of Impressionism. The reassessment of Monet’s late work corresponded with the emphasis on pure color in the work of painters like Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland in the 1960s.

This makes Monet the most interesting figure in French art in the last century. A precursor to modernism, the artist opened the way for modernist painters who expressed the world not as it was, but as they perceived it.

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If you liked our piece on Claude Monet, you might also be interested in the relationship between eroticism, surrealism and sweetness.


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