Claude Monet was born in 1840 in France. When he was a boy, an artist friend launched him on a lifelong goal of "learning to see," and to paint what he saw. Monet concluded that what is actually seen is light reflecting off of objects. For Monet, objects themselves were not as important as the play of light over their surfaces and the hidden colors found in shadows.

Using fragmented, rough brushstrokes, he covered his canvases with dabs of paint. when seen from a distance, these paintings appear glittering, radiant and soft-truly capturing the effect of light and atmosphere. His brightly colored, abstract landscapes are like scenes from a daydream.

Monet and other painters with similar styles studied the use of color. Rather than combining pigments on their palettes, they often painted small dabs of individual colors side by side directly on the canvases.

This allowed the eye of the viewer to mix the colors. One of Monet's paintings, called An Impression: Sunrise, gave this group of artist its name when critics mockingly referred to the artist as Impressionist.

During Monet's time, most artist worked almost exclusively inside their studios. Monet and the other Impressionist worked almost entirely out-of-doors. It was important for them to capture the actual effects of sunlight. Monet often painted a series of works on the same subject to show the apprearance of different times of day and night and under different atmospheric conditions.

In 1880's Monet's fortune changed when buyers in America and then Europe, began to purchase his works. By 1890 he was wealthy and bought a farmhouse in Geverny, a town outside of Paris. This is where he built the famous garden shown in Water Lilies.

 

WATER LILIES-This is a painting of an exoctic pond in the  private garden of Claude Monet. The actualgarden, which he had planned so carefully and designed, was the subject of quite a number of Monet's paintings.

Soft blues and greens, accented by white and delicate pink, were used to depict lilies floating lazily in the warm, shimmering pond.

Monet let his brushstrokes mingle these rich, mellow colors to give a vivid impression of light falling on flowers and water, which reflects the surrounding trees and sky. 

Monet had not interest in painting precise, sharp outlined details, as individual leaves and petals. Rather, he conveyed his own personal vision of flickering light as it danced over the water's reflective surface. 

 


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