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By Dominik Hussl

A major influence, and also founder to the French impressionist movement was an artist named Oscar Claude Monet, who strongly believed in the philosophic thought process of the movement. He was born in Giverny, France on November 4, 1840 and was baptized a year after in May 20, 1841.

Growing up he became locally known in Le Havre, Normandy for selling his charcoal imitation drawings. In the late 1850s, mentor Eugene Boudin, taught him the “en plein air” technique while using oil paints.

Although an artist in nature, Monet was recruited to the First Regiment of African Light Calvary located in Algeria in June of 1861, and he remained in this regiment for seven years.

To get him out the army after finding out that he developed typhoid fever two years later, his aunt Marie-Jeanne Lecadre gave him the offer of going to art school. Taking this offer led him to become a pupil of Charles Gleyre, and allowed him to meet Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frederic Bazille, all of whom experimented with various styles of painting.


By Monet composing with these artists by using various en plein air, it led to rapid brushstrokes and broken color in their work, and this was the creation of impressionism. Having this technique as the general foundation for his portraits eventually attracted the creative eye in European society.

After marrying his wife, Camille Doncieux, he produced an illustration of her in 1866 called The Woman in the Green Dress which brought recognition to his name in the art community. His wife later gave birth to his child Michel in 1876.

Future work of Monet gained more and more popularity throughout Europe and led to the following of aspiring young artists taking to the impressionist technique of art production. Due to his major accommodations in the movement and his vivid works of art, his depiction of Le Havre port was exhibited in 1874 at the first impressionist art display in Paris. Many other exhibits that arose in Paris displayed his work and still do to this day.

In the early 1880s his family found a small house located within Giverny that had a barn and was placed upon two acres of land. To inspire the artists thriving imaginative ideas his family began to work on the garden landscape that lead to him producing more eloquent works of impressionist art.

As his fortune continued to rise, in November of 1890 the family acquired enough money to purchase the small house, land, and its surrounding structures. Due to the magnificent scenery all around his new home, the various illustrations he painted where displayed in 1891 at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in their own exhibits.

Monet became diagnosed with tuberculosis that he struggled with throughout the remainder of his life time. As years passed his illness proceeded to get worse and soon caused him to develop lung cancer, which later killed him on December 5, 1926 at 86 years of age. Although he is gone, one can still to this day see his impact upon the art culture and in its ever-changing techniques.

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