Claude Monet: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the French impressionist painter, Claude Monet.

  • Claude Monet was born on 14th November 1840 in Paris, France.
  • He was named Oscar-Cluade, and his parents called him Oscar.
  • Monet’s father was a grocer and his mother was a singer. Claude decided not to take up a position in his father’s business – he wanted to be an artist instead.
  • He went to Le Harve School of Arts in 1851 and he used to sell caricatures in charcoal to help bring in some extra money.
  • He was mentored by Eugene Boudin, who taught Monet oil painting techniques and how to paint outdoors (en plein air).
  • Monet moved to England following the start of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He was inspired by the work of John Constable. In May 1871 he moved to Zaandam in the Netherlands, before returning to France in November 1871.
  • Monet married Camille Doncieux in 1870. They had two children and Camille died of tuberculosis aged just 32.
  • Monet suffered with cataracts. In 1923 he had surgery to remove them from his eyes. The works he painted when he had cataracts are more red than the ones he painted after his operation.
  • Claude Monet was the founder of the impressionist movement. He was focused on capturing movement and changing light and colour in his paintings, and was less concerned with realism. He wanted to paint how humans look upon a scene, rather than what is actually there.
  • Monet died on 5th December 1926. He had lung cancer and was 86. He is buried in the Giverny cemetery.
  • Paintings by Claude Monet now sell for tens of millions of pounds. He produced more than 1000 individual paintings during his career.
  • He is probably most well-known for his series of paintings of water lilies, but he also painted many other landscapes and seascapes. He produced a series of paintings of weeping willows – a tribute to the fallen French soldiers in World War 1.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous artists.