Have you ever heard of the painting called The Water Lily Pond? It is one of Claude Monet’s most famous art works. It is beautiful, it is actually his own garden. This garden has been recreated by the Foundation Monet in Giverny, France. He was obsessed about his garden, It was his favorite part of his home.
Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14th 1840. His birth name was Oscar Claude. He first lived in a small apartment near Port Le Havre in Normandy, France.
He moved many times throughout his childhood. When he was 17 years old his mother passed away and his father was devastated so he was forced to move in with his Aunt Marie-Jeanne. She put him in drawing lessons which he excelled in. His art teacher saw he had passion and talent so he encouraged him to fill an artbook full of sketches. He made sketches of boats, the landscape surrounding his home, and of his teacher which his fellow students told him to.
A local framer saw his talent and started displaying his pieces at his shop. People started buying his art and he made some money off of that. He painted many landscapes but landscape paintings were not of high demand so he could not make sufficient funds to have a good living. His father eventually told him to attend art school but he refused. Then his father stopped funding his passion for art. So he started to attend art school, at Academie Suisse.
He was painting a portrait of a woman named Camille Doncieux, he ended up falling in love with her. His father did not approved of his love for Camille whatsoever. He stopped funding him once more but his Aunt Marie-Jeanne started funding his passion. He then started an apprenticeship at Glenary’s Art Studio in Le Havre. He then married Camille in 1870 and was in a money shortage once more. They had so little money that they could not afford to eat much of the time. Then a little while later they found out Camille was pregnant with their first son. This was of course very hard on their money supply because they were barely making it by before his birth.
He and his friend and fellow artist were apprentices at the art studio, then the owner of the studio passed away. They were unable to keep the studio open so they had to find another place to paint. His friend had the idea of painting outside in the open air, he thought it was a silly idea. He ran so low on money that he decided to do the open air painting. He and several other artists painted outdoors with oil paints and people started to label them impressionists. The label was not hated so they kept it around and kept painting outdoors.
Then a war broke out between France and Prussia and he evaded France and moved to London, England to avoid having to fight in the war. His friend Frederic Bazille which he painted with outdoors decided to serve even though he had been told not to by Monet and others. His friend ended up dying in the war, Prussia won and invaded France. They demanded they give them 5,000,000,000 Francs and a large portion of their iron mines. Two million French people were haunted by the threat of dying because of a disease or starving to death.
In January of 1871 he got word that his father had fallen ill and died. He decided to move to Argenteuil, France which was near where his father lived. This home was where he had painted many of his most famous works such as Water Lilies. This is also where he had the magnificent garden that he painted a lot. He later on died on January 25th 1926 at the age of 86 years old. You can visit a recreation of his garden in Giverny, France.