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Water Lilies, the Clouds by Claude Monet

Claude Monet Biography for Kids

Claude Monet Biography for Kids

Claude Monet Biography for Kids
Claude Monet Biography for Kids

Bon jour! I am Claude Monet. This is the Claude Monet biography for kids. I am from the late 1800s and early 1900s in France.

Map of France
Map of France

There has been an interesting movement in art going on in France called the Impressionist Movement, and I am one of the main artists of Impressionism. I was born in 1840 in Paris, France. I knew I wanted to be an artist from an early age, though my father wanted me to join the family business of grocery sales and supplying ships.

Adolphe Monet Reading in the Garden by Claude Monet
Adolphe Monet (father of Claude) Reading in the Garden by Claude Monet

I was able to attend the school of the arts in Les Havre, where my family had moved. I used to draw caricatures…

Auguste Vacquerie by Claude Monet
Auguste Vacquerie by Claude Monet
 Caricature of Henri 
Cassinelli - Rufus Croutinelli by Claude Monet
Caricature of Henri
Cassinelli – Rufus Croutinelli by Claude Monet

until I met a local artist, Eugene Boudin…

Eugene Boudin
Eugene Boudin

who became my mentor and encouraged me to try painting landscapes “en plein air”, or as you say, in the open air.

Autumn on the Seine at Argenteuil by Claude Monet
Autumn on the Seine at Argenteuil by Claude Monet

So I stopped drawing the caricatures and instead began to paint landscapes.

The Marina at Argenteuil by Claude Monet
The Marina at Argenteuil by Claude Monet

I like the natural world…

Irises in Monets Garden by Claude Monet
Irises in Monets Garden by Claude Monet

and I got tired of imitating the Old Masters. Some of my friends – you know, Renoir,

Self-Portrait by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Self-Portrait by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Sisley,

The Painter Alfred Sisley by Pierre Auguste Renoir
The Painter Alfred Sisley by Pierre Auguste Renoir

and Bazille –

Self-Portrait by Frederic Bazille
Self-Portrait by Frederic Bazille

and I got tired of the colors and styles of classical art and when the Salon (you know, the French Art Show) started rejecting our paintings for display, we made our own exhibitions. Our Impressionist Exhibitions started in 1874 and continued for about 20 years. One critic called our works “impressionism” because he thought our art works seemed more like sketches than finished paintings.

Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet
Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet

But we liked his term “impressionism”. Oui, oui, we like to paint natural scenes using strong colors and short brushstrokes and capture the natural light, sometimes making many paintings of the same scene at different times and in varying degrees of light to create an impression, like my paintings of grainstacks.

Grainstacks at Giverny Morning Effect by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at Giverny Morning Effect by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at the End of Summer, Morning Effect by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at the End of Summer, Morning Effect by Claude Monet
Grainstacks in the Sunlight, Midday by Claude Monet
Grainstacks in the Sunlight, Midday by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at the End of the Day, Autumn by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at the End of the Day, Autumn by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at Giverny, Sunset by Claude Monet
Grainstacks at Giverny, Sunset by Claude Monet

Sometimes I have painted luncheon parties…

The Luncheon by Claude Monet
The Luncheon by Claude Monet

or train stations…

Saint Lazare Station Exterior by Claude Monet
Saint Lazare Station Exterior by Claude Monet

or cathedrals.

Rouen Cathedral, Portal in the Sun  by Claude Monet
Rouen Cathedral, Portal in the Sun by Claude Monet

But my favorite place to paint is in my garden, first in Argenteuil and later in Giverny.

Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil by Pierre Auguste Renoir

In my garden in Giverny, I made a series of paintings of Water Lilies. It’s so hard to choose which ones to show you, so here are just a few:

Water Lilies by Claude Monet
Water Lilies by Claude Monet
Water Lilies 3 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies 3 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies 1899 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies 1899 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies 29 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies 29 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies Red 1919 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies Red 1919 by Claude Monet
Water Lilies, the Clouds by Claude Monet
Water Lilies, the Clouds by Claude Monet
The Japanese Bridge by Claude Monet
The Japanese Bridge by Claude Monet

France was my home, but I did live in a few other places or travel. I spent time in Holland, painting flowers and windmills.

Fields of Flowers and Windmills near Leiden by Claude Monet
Fields of Flowers and Windmills near Leiden by Claude Monet
Windmills Near Zaandam by Claude Monet
Windmills Near Zaandam by Claude Monet

I also lived in London during the Franco-Prussian War and painted the Houses of Parliament…

Houses of Parliament, Sunlight Effect 1901 by Claude Monet
Houses of Parliament, Sunlight Effect 1901 by Claude Monet

and the Waterloo Bridge among other things.

Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet
Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet

Later, my second wife, Alice, and I visited Venice, Italy.

Venice Rio de Santa Salute by Claude Monet
Venice Rio de Santa Salute by Claude Monet
San Giorgio Maggiore by Claude Monet
San Giorgio Maggiore by Claude Monet
The Palazzo Ducale by Claude Monet
The Palazzo Ducale by Claude Monet
The Grand Canal by Claude Monet
The Grand Canal by Claude Monet

While I loved the “en plein air” or in open air and natural light of impressionism, I did paint a few portraits. My first wife Camille was often a model for me as well as my children.

Camille, also known as The Woman in the Green Dress by Claude Monet
Camille, also known as The Woman in the Green Dress by Claude Monet
Portrait of Jean Monet Wearing a Hat with a Pom Pom by Claude Monet
Portrait of Jean Monet Wearing a Hat with a Pom Pom by Claude Monet

But even my portraits often contain landscapes and natural light.

Madame Monet and Child by Claude Monet
Madame Monet and Child by Claude Monet
Camille on the Beach at Trouville by Claude Monet
Camille on the Beach at Trouville by Claude Monet

Les enfants (children), here is what you need to remember about me. I am Claude Monet, the French Impressionist, who lived in the late 1800s into the early 1900s, and I am known for natural scenes in natural light and use of quick brush strokes.

Check out the video too!

Resources:

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