Claude Monet

Life Dates:
1840 – 1926
Artist Biography:
Claude Monet was born in France in 1840 and was a principle founder of French impressionist painting. He has been said to be the most consistent practitioner of this movement's philosophy, of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of one of his most well-known paintings, "Impression, Sunrise". IMPRESSION, SUNRISE: Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) is a painting by Claude Monet, for which the Impressionist movement was named. Dated 1872, but probably created in 1873, its subject is the harbor of Le Havre in France, using very loose brush strokes that suggest rather than delineate it. Monet explained the title later: “Landscape is nothing but an impression, and an instantaneous one, hence this label that was given us, by the way because of me. I had sent a thing done in Le Havre, from my window, sun in the mist and a few masts of boats sticking up in the foreground....They asked me for a title for the catalogue, it couldn't really be taken for a view of Le Havre, and I said: 'Put Impression.'"