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Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Throughout his career, Monet (1840–1926) became one of the most consistent and prolific practitioners of the Impressionist movement’s philosophy. One of the founders of Impressionism, Monet developed the style characterized by delicate, rhythmic brushstrokes that emphasize depicting perception and experience over realistic rendering. He often painted “en plein air,” a practice of painting outdoor in nature described in French as “in open air”, when he would observe and paint the changing qualities of light over time.

During the 1870s Monet developed his technique for rendering atmospheric light, using broken, rhythmic brushwork. He received little but abuse from public and critics alike, who complained that the paintings were formless, unfinished, and ugly. He and his family endured abject poverty. By the 1880s, however, his paintings started selling. In 1890 he began creating paintings in series, depicting the same subject under various conditions and at different times of the day. His late pictures, made when he was half-blind, are shimmering pools of color almost totally devoid of form.