A Lasting Impression

Celebrating the life and impact of the famous painter Claude Monet


www.flickr.com, Claude Monet

Saturday, November 14th, 2015, marked the 175th birthday of the famous French painter Oscar-Claude Monet.  Today, his work is still celebrated and displayed in museums across the globe. Monet is known for his technique of piecing rapid brushstrokes together to form colorful, hazy landscape images and portraits. He began the legacy of Impressionism, which focuses on natural lighting and form that exudes the individual’s perception before nature. One of his most famous paintings titled “Impression, Sunrise” notably contributed to the rise of the Impressionist Movement. At the time Impressionism was opposed by the French artist community and considered as “false art,” but the term stuck.

When he was a student, Monet preferred to be outside amongst nature rather than remaining in the confines of a classroom. As a young artist, he strayed from the typical standards of art training, and sat near open windows or outdoors to recreate what he saw. Despite his financial instability and failing health, Monet continued to paint. During his later years, he began painting a series of large scale water lilies from his flower garden in Giverny, which became his universe during the last decades of his life. Even while suffering from cataracts and poor health, he was still determined to finish his paintings. Upon painting the series he said, “It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.” 

Being the Impressionist master, Monet was quite amazing at depicting natural light and creating a dreamlike atmosphere in his work. He conveyed through his work the idea that art should be limitless and that creativity should not be hindered by guidelines and rules. His loosening of structure paved the way for more abstract styles of art in the future. Ultimately, Monet never betrayed his pursuits even though he was often rejected and faced self-doubt. Painting was his passion, and it gave him a sense of balance in his life.


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