Painter and one of the founders of the Impressionism movement. This movement consisted of artists rebelling against the norm of painting traditional pictures, and instead painting works that reflected the world that they lived in. His paintings were mainly of landscapes. Monet observed scenery in the outdoors and used those inspirations for his paintings (“Biography of Claude Oscar Monet,” n.d.). He looked at the color and light that was brought on by seasonal changes. While he was in Le Havre, a school of art, he became known for his charcoal caricatures that he would sell.
Eugéne Boudin was Monet’s mentor and he taught him the skills to use oil paintings and how to use “en plein air”, which are techniques for outdoor paintings (“Biography of Claude Oscar Monet,” n.d.). His style was very unique and he led the way for twentieth century modernism.
Monet rejected the classic European style related to composition, color, and perspective. He painted asymmetrically and placed emphasis on two-dimensional surfaces.
He did this by eliminating linear perspective and not using three-dimensional modeling (Auricchio, 2004). His works were very bright because he used unmediated colors. These are used in paintings of nature and are deep and rich colors (Auricchio, 2004). Also, he added tones to his shadows and used light-colored primers on his canvases. Traditional nature scenes use dark backgrounds, but he went against that.
One of the interesting things Monet did was paint the same landscape over and over again, but at different times of the day.
It was noted that Monet rented a room in a cathedral and had multiple canvases lined up and as the time of day passed, he would move on to the next canvas to paint the changed scene as the light shifted during the day (Auricchio, 2004). His paintings that exhibited this technique were Haystacks, Poplars, and Rouen Cathedral. One of Monet’s interests was water-lily ponds. He had one on his property and focused on painting this during a ten year time period. In these paintings, he used broad strokes of color and complex textures. His final depiction of the water-lily pond can be seen today at the Orangerie in Paris, where it was placed after he passed away (Auricchio, 2004). Monet also focused on painting pictures of his wife, Camille Doncieux.
Monet liked to use light in his paintings, and he was able to use a broad range of light in his works. For example, Camille uses dark tones and The Woman in the Garden uses natural light (“Style and Technique,”n.d.). In order to accentuate the light used in his work, he used shadows and dark shades of black. In his paintings using the “en plein air” style, it focused on rapid brushstrokes and broken color. This style is very noticeable in Impressionism Sunrise. The fast brushstrokes are what makes Monet’s paintings stand out because this is how he depicts light so well in his works (“Style and Technique,”n.d.). Monet also liked to use color in his paintings. This is why he liked to paint at different times of the day, because the objects looked different and this would influence his color use. Later in Monet’s life, he developed cataracts. This greatly influenced his color palette. Before he had them removed, his works had a reddish hue. After they were removed, there were streaks of blue ultraviolet light (“Style and Technique,”n.d.).
Monet is a very interesting artist because he went against classical rules of painting. I like that he painted outdoor landscapes, because I enjoy spending time outside and doing things such as fishing and hunting. Landscapes are most appealing to me because every location is different and there can be a variety of ways to show what a landscape looks like. Monet’s paintings have a broad range of light used, and I enjoy looking at the ones with a brighter landscape. They are very appealing, with my favorite being the pictures of the water-lily ponds. These paintings look so realistic and it is clear that he put time and effort to depict the perfect scene. I also find it interesting that he painted landscapes at different times during the day. This shows he had a passion for incorporating light into his works.