Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Monet is considered one of the founding fathers of Impressionism. The term is even derived from his painting ‘Impression, soleil levant’ dated 1872.
Aged 22, Monet, disappointed with traditional art education in Le Havre, moved to Paris. He took lessons from Charles Gleyre, where he met Renoir, Bazille and Sisley. The group were strongly opposed to Classicism. They wanted to capture the fleeting light, with rapid brushstrokes and in elementary colours without worrying about exactitude in the representation of shapes. They worked ‘en plein air’ i.e. outdoors (which had become possible thanks to the advent of paint in tubes) and daily life was depicted without symbolism or an underlying message.