Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14 - Claude Monet

Impressionist painter Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris. He was baptized as Oscar-Claude, and his parents called him Oscar. He grew up in Le Havre on the coast of Normandy. As a young painter in Paris for several years, he became friends with artists that included modernist Édouard Manet. At the start of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he went to England and studied paintings of Constable and Turner, which led him to innovate with color and light. He returned to France via the Netherlands in late 1871 and lived at Argenteuil, on the Seine, near Paris. The following year he painted a landscape of the port of Le Havre he called “Impression, Sunrise” (“Impression, soleil levant”). When the work was exhibited in 1874 with works of other artists, including Renoir, Cézanne and Degas, it attracted special attention from an art critic, who titled his derisive newspaper review "The Exhibition of the Impressionists," deploring the “unfinished” painting and comparing it unfavorably with wallpaper. But the artists adopted the title and became Impressionists.

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