The middle class family Claude Monet was born into was average in every way. The son that was born into that middle class family was not average, but will be remembered in the art world for many years.
He drew cartoons for his family and friends, and would get as much as $60 apiece for them. He did hundreds of these and gave the money to his aunt to hold for him. The day Monet accompanied a local artist to paint and saw what painting could be, it was as though a veil had been lifted from his eyes. The local artist Boudin did a lot for forming Monetís love of outdoor painting and painting ordinary people in ordinary cloths.
Though he could not get a grant or money from his father Monet left to attend art school in Paris at eighteen years of age. While attending class at Gleyreís studio, he met Frederic Bazille, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley who would become his painting companions and supporters for life.
On April 15, 1874, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley staged an exhibition in Paris to show their paintings that they were having trouble being shown at the Salon. The Salon was a famous gallery in Paris. Many people who came to their exhibition was bewildered by their pictures of landscapes and everyday life with their rough surfaces and patches of brilliant colors. The spectators thought that they were untrained and trying to get attention. The show had one positive effect it gave the group their name. One of Monetís paintings of Le Havre, showing two boats leaving a harbor as a red sun rises in the mist of the sea and the sky, and titled the impression. Critics pounced on the word impression and mocked it. The group was now known to this day as the impressionist painters.
An auction in 1875 of works by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, and Morisot resulted in actual violence. The auctioneer had to call the police to keep the people from tearing the canvases with canes and umbrellas. Most of the pictures sold at the auction did not even bring the price of the frames. Monet did not give up and continued his painting with loans from friends and selling paintings when he could.
His wife died of cancer on September 5, 1879 and Monet showing very little emotion, painted her in death to show the color of death. He stated that he was a slave to his art. In 1883 Monet found a quite little village named Giverny, that he found to be intriguing, with apple orchards and vineyards. He spent many years travelling around trying to find the things he wanted to paint and spent much time in Giverny planting his garden. The time he spent getting the garden ready so he could paint the flowers in it was time well spent. He spent many hours painting his garden where a lot of famous paintings were produced.
He died on December 5, 1926 of lung cancer in Giverny. Monet had worked his whole life to be able to paint light and nature as he saw them the moment he saw them. He did change the art world and the world as we see it forever.