1840, Paris – 1926, Giverny
The French painter trained amongst others with the plein air painter Eugène Boudin, continuing his studies from 1859 onwards in Paris, where he met Pissarro, Bazille, Sisley and Renoir. At the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874, Monet’s painting Impression, soleil levant prompted critics to mockingly describe him as an ‘impressionist’. He thus co-founded and gave the name to one of the most important art movements of the 20th century. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1871 he fled to London, where he was very impressed by the work of Turner and Constable. Shortly after this he was taken up by the art dealer Durand-Ruel. Following his move to Giverny, Monet devoted himself obsessively to creating series of paintings that explored the dependency of form and colour upon lighting and air conditions at different times of day. The garden was his main inspiration, with the water lily pond becoming the principal motif of his paintings from 1899 onwards. Certain elements of his last works can be seen to anticipate Expressionism.