1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Monet, Claude

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

MONET, CLAUDE (1840-), French painter, was born in Paris on the 14th of November 1840. His youth was passed at Hâvre, where his father had settled in 1845. Until he was fifteen years old he led a somewhat irregular life, learning little at school, and spending all his time in decorating his books with drawings and caricatures which gave him notoriety in Hâvre. At the same time he became acquainted with Boudin, a clever sea-painter, under whose guidance he learned to love and to understand nature. At the age of twenty he became a soldier, and spent two years of his military time with the regiment of the Chasseurs d'Afrique in the desert. Falling ill with fever, he was sent home, and entered the studio of Gleyre. This classical painter tried in vain to keep him to conventional art and away from truth and nature, and Monet left his studio, where he had become acquainted with two other “impressionistic” painters—Sisley and Renoir. At that time he also knew Manet (q.v.), and in 1869 he joined the group of Cézanne, Degas, Duranty, Sisley, and became a plein air painter. During the war of 1870 he withdrew to England, and on his return was introduced by Daubigny to a dealer, M. Durand-Ruel, in whose galleries almost all his works have been exhibited. In 1872 he exhibited views of Argenteuil, near Paris; in 1874 a series entitled “Cathedrals,” showing the cathedral of Rouen under different lights. He afterwards painted views of Vétheuil (1875, see Plate), Pourville and cliffs of Etretat (1881), of Bordighera (1886), of the Creuse (1889), Le Meules (1891), and some further views of cathedrals (1894). In December 1900 he exhibited some pictures called “Le Bassin des Nymphéas,” and was engaged at the beginning of 1901 in painting views of London. Several of Monet's paintings, bequeathed by M. Caillebotte, are in the Luxembourg Museum, Paris. (See Impressionism.)