ART 4 2-DAY 05 December v.9.b0
Born on 05 December 1890: David Bomberg,
English painter, specialized in landscapes,
who died on 19 August 1957.
Son of an immigrant Polish leather-worker. While apprenticed to a lithographer he attended evening classes by Walter Bayes at the City and Guilds Institute and he was assisted by the Jewish Educational Aid Society to study at the Slade School 1911-1913. He was associated with Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist movement (contemporary with Cubism and a precursor to Abstraction) and exhibited in the 'Cubist Room' at the Camden Town Group Exhibition at Brighton, 1913-1914. In 1914 he was a founding member of the London Group and in 1915 he was invited to take part in the Vorticist Exhibition. His best known work from this period is 'The Mud Bath' (1914). In 1919, after declining artistic success, he retired from active participation in the artistic life of the country and worked in isolation. He stayed in Palestine (1923-1927) and made trips to Spain, Morocco, Greece and Russia (from 1929 onward). About 1929 he abandoned his abstract style and slowly developed a personal style of expressive brush strokes.
— The fifth child of a Polish immigrant leather worker, Bomberg spent his earliest years in Birmingham and then grew up in the Whitechapel area of London. He suffered considerable financial hardship while studying at evening classes given by Walter Bayes [1869–1956] at the City and Guilds Institute from 1905 to 1908 and by Walter Sickert at Westminster Art School from 1908 to 1910. With the help of John Singer Sargent and the Jewish Education Aid Society, he secured a place at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 1911. It was a period of dramatic change, stimulated in part by Roger Fry's two Post-Impressionist exhibitions and the display of Italian Futurist works at the Sackville Gallery, London, in 1912. Bomberg was the most audacious painter of his generation at the Slade, proving in works such as Vision of Ezekiel (1912) and Ju-jitsu (1913) that he could absorb the most experimental European ideas, fuse these with Jewish influences and come up with a robust alternative of his own. His treatment of the human figure, in terms of angular, clear-cut forms charged with enormous energy, reveals his determination to bring about a drastic renewal in British painting.
The direction taken by his art brought him into contact with Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists, but Bomberg resisted Lewis's attempts to enlist him as a member of the movement. He refused to let his work be illustrated in Blast magazine and appeared only in the ‘Invited to show' section of the Vorticist Exhibition held in London in June 1915. His precocious confidence did not require group solidarity. Bomberg's two great canvases of 1914, In The Hold and The Mud Bath, take as their starting-point the East End of London, which Bomberg knew well, but he certainly did not produce documentary images of Whitechapel life. In the Hold, based on the subject of men at work on a ship moored at the docks, is dramatically fragmented by a grid that Bomberg has imposed on the figures, ladders and floorboards. The result is a flickering, darting canvas that conveys through its fractured elements the restless dynamism of the monumental labourers. The Mud Bath translates the spectacle of bathers at Schevzik's Vapour Baths, Whitechapel, into a harsh and strident painting. Half-human and half-mechanical, the blue and white figures hurl themselves around the red rectangle of water. The Mud Bath celebrates their energy in a taut and bracing manner but also reflects Bomberg's awareness that ‘I look upon Nature while I live in a steel city'. He made that assertion in the foreword to the catalogue of his first one-man show, held in July 1914 at the Chenil Gallery, London, where the Mud Bath was displayed outside the building and festooned with Union Jacks. ‘I APPEAL to a Sense of Form,' Bomberg proclaimed in the same militant statement, insisting: ‘My object is the construction of Pure Form. I reject everything in painting that is not Pure Form.'
The Chenil Gallery exhibition marked the triumph of Bomberg's early career and earned him the admiration of many experimental artists both in London and abroad. The show was reviewed enthusiastically in The New Age (09 July 1914) by T. E. Hulme, whose views about machine-age art coincided in many respects with Bomberg's vision of the new century. With the advent of World War I, everything changed dramatically. By November 1915 Bomberg had enlisted in the Royal Engineers, and his harrowing experiences at the Front brought about a profound transformation in his outlook. It can be seen most clearly in the large painting of Sappers at Work, which he carried out as a commission for the Canadian Government. The first version (1919) retains much of the freedom of color and structure he had developed in the pre-war period, but it introduces recognizable figures that no longer conform to the mechanistic vision of The Mud Bath. When this version was rejected by the Canadian committee, Bomberg painted a far more realistic alternative (1919), which introduced an almost photographic style in the treatment of the men working underground.
Bomberg never again returned to this dogged and limiting idiom, but he did explore a radically different path during the 1920s. His disillusion with the destructive power of the machine at war led to a few years spent experimenting with ways of making his stark pre-war style more rounded and organic. He went to Jerusalem in 1923 and concentrated on landscape painting. At first his paintings of Palestine were very tight and almost topographical in character. By the time he returned to London in 1927, however, his determination to base his art on first-hand experience of nature had led to a looser and more expressive approach. He developed an outspoken and impassioned language during a visit to Toledo in 1929, where he began to use the loose, gestural brushmark that characterized his later work. The nature of the landscape itself, his admiration for the work of El Greco and his profound dissatisfaction with the work he had recently produced in Palestine were all contributory factors.
Throughout the 1930s Bomberg's art became broader and more impassioned as he sought to convey the essence of his response to landscapes in Scotland and Spain. At Cuenca and Ronda and in the Asturian mountains, in works such as Valley of la Hermida: Picos de Europa, Asturias (1935), Bomberg allowed his vigorously handled paint a life of its own — even as he continued to depict the natural world around him. This work met with little approval in Britain, and during World War II his outstanding series of Bomb Store paintings did not lead to further commissions from the War Artists Committee, despite his repeated requests. While continuing to suffer from appalling neglect in the post-war years, Bomberg was an influential teacher at the Borough Polytechnic, London. His students included Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff. His painting reached a climax at the same time with work done during expeditions to Devon and Cornwall and above all Cyprus (e.g. Castle Ruins at St Hilarion, 1948), where his search for ‘the spirit in the mass' resulted in fiery masterpieces charged with an exhilarating apprehension of the landscape he scrutinized. In 1954 he returned to Ronda with his wife Lilian and attempted to found a school of painting there, but the plan failed. His last years were darkened by the realization that his art remained overlooked and even belittled in Britain. His final landscapes and figure paintings, most notably the tragic Last Self-portrait (1956), include some of his most powerful works.
— The students of Bomberg included Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff [07 Dec 1926~], Gustav Metzger.
— Vision of Ezekiel (1912, 114x137cm) _ Bomberg was closely associated with the Vorticist group in London. His ability to organise forms into powerful compositions is evident in this painting which was carefully prepared in several preliminary drawings. The subject is taken from the Old Testament and illustrates the occasion when God guided the prophet to a valley full of bones and commanded him to speak. 'There was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together.' Skeletal yet animated the figures appear to emerge from the platform. The brilliant colors emphasise the exultation associated with resurrection. Bomberg may have chosen this text after the sudden death of his mother. The pair had been close and he may have found consolation in this positive theme.
— Ju-Jitsu (1913, 62x62cm) _ Bomberg's paintings of this date show an interest in the principles of both Cubism and Futurism. He wished to create a new visual language with which to express his perceptions of the modern industrial city. He wrote: 'the new life should find its expression in a new art, which has been stimulated by new perceptions. I want to translate the life of a great city, its motion, its machinery, into an art that shall not be photographic, but expressive.' Thus in this painting the representational elements are reduced to geometrical forms and a grid of diagonally-divided squares is superimposed on the whole composition. The sense of violent movement is reinforced by the title of the work.
— In the Hold (1914, 196x231cm) _ This painting relates to Bomberg’s search for a purely visual language with which to express his perceptions of the modern urban environment. In the Hold is based on a scene of dockers working in the hold of a ship. A ladder, seen in the lower right of the picture, connects the hold with the deck above. In the centre left one of the dockers can be seen, wearing a hat. Bomberg has left visible the squaring-up grid, used to enlarge accurately the preliminary drawing. He has then used this geometrical framework to dissolve the subject of the picture into dynamic angular facets. Bomberg was aware of the militancy of the dockworkers which was much publicized at the time.
— The Mud Bath (1914, 152x224cm) _ The way in which Bomberg reduces the human figure to a series of geometric shapes may reflect his fascination with the machine age, which he shared with the Futurists and Vorticists. The painting could also represent the human form, stripped to its essential core. The scene probably derives from steam baths near Bomberg’s home in east London, which were frequented by the local Jewish population and which had religious.
— Jerusalem, Looking to Mount Scopus (1925, 56x75cm) _ In 1917 the British Government had declared support for the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’. Six years later Bomberg, a Jewish artist from the East End of London, was commissioned by a Zionist organisation to paint images of Jewish settlements in Jerusalem. However, Bomberg was not a supporter of Zionism and found the British Government officials in Jerusalem more congenial patrons. The painstakingly detailed depiction of buildings in this painting probably reflects their desire to see a faithful description of the ancient city which they hoped to restore and protect from modernisation.
— Barges (1919, 60x78cm)
— The Artist's Wife and Baby (1937, 77x56cm)
Died on 05 December 1734: Peter Tillemans
(or Tilmans), Flemish English artist born in 1684 in Antwerp.
— Trained in the Netherlands, Tillemans and his brother-in-law, Peter Casteels [03 Oct 1684 – 16 May 1749], went to England in 1708 to work for a picture dealer named Turner as copyists of Old Master paintings. According to Vertue, he did ‘extreamly well’ in Turner’s employ, copying ‘Bourgonione for Battles ... & landskips of other Masters’ as well as making ‘small peices of his own Composition’. Primarily a topographical artist specializing in landscapes enlivened with people and animals, Tillemans also painted portraits, sporting scenes and seascapes. Soon after his arrival he was commissioned to paint Queen Anne in the House of Lords and Queen Anne in the House of Commons. He rapidly rose to fame, counting the Duke of Devonshire, the 4th Lord Byron, the Rev. Dr Cox Macro (later chaplain to George II) and the Duke of Kingston amongst his patrons. By 1711 he seems to have established his own painting practice and in that year became a founder-member of the Great Queen Street Academy, where he declared his speciality as ‘landskip’. Tillemans, a chronic asthma sufferer, retired to the country on account of his ill state of health.
— Tillemans had Arthur Devis as an assistant and Joseph Francis Nollekens as a student.
— Battle of Glenshiel (1719; 427x600pix) _ a contemporary and highly accurate depiction of the battle, when the Jacobites, under the earl of Seaforth, aided by Spaniards, were defeated, at the pass of Strachel, near Bridge of Shiel, by General Wightman on 11 June 1719. This put an end to the brief west Scottish Highland uprising which was the fourth effort at restoration of the Stuarts.
— Horse with Groom and Hounds (1734; 480x600pix) _ An owner by inheritance, brewer and merchant John Patteson [1755-1833], wrote on the painting: “T'his Picture was left thus unfinish'd by the justly celebrated PETER TILLEMANS of Antwerp, it being the last piece that he painted, and he working upon it the day before his Death which hapned in this House in Norwich the fifth of December MDCCXXXIV.”
— Little Haugh Hall, Suffolk (329x600pix)
— Master Edward and Miss Mary Macro (1733; 484x364pix) _ children of the Rev. Dr. Cox Macro [1689-1763].
— Foxhunting in Wooded Country (1730, 102x117cm; 447x512pix, 25kb) _ This hunting scene shows the moment just before the kill: the fox is cornered by the hounds, for the winding river on the left leaves no way out. Tillemans was one of the first artists to produce sporting pictures in Britain. Scenes of hunting and racing were to become a stock subject in British art. The idea of ordinary men and wealthy landowners working in harmony with their dogs and horses provides an enduring, and to many people reassuring, ideal of country life.
— Spruce and Bell, two racehorses with grooms (1724; 286x365pix, 19kb) _ 2 racehorses with grooms and hounds in the foreground with Newstead Abbey in the background.
— Landskip with Castle on a Hill (284x828pix, 19kb)
— The Thames at Twickenham (168x350pix, 9kb) _ This sweeping panoramic view is one of three local topographical scenes painted by Tillemans during the 1720s - A View of Richmond from Twickenham Park and a View from Richmond Hill are now in the Government Art Collection. The Thames at Twickenham, also known as A Prospect of Twickenham, is one of Tillemans' major late paintings. An invaluable record, it is the earliest complete topographical view of the river frontage in the 18th century.
Born on 05 (03?) December 1590: Daniel
Seghers (or Zeghers), le Jésuite d'Anvers, Flemish
painter who died on 02 November 1661.
Flemish painter, student of Jan Brueghel the Elder in Antwerp. He became free master of the Antwerp Guild of Painters in 1614, while at the same time joining the Jesuit Order as a lay brother. He made numerous trips abroad, including Rome. He painted for Prince Frederick Hendrick of Nassau and the Elector of Brandenburg.
— The son of the silk merchant Pierre Seghers [–1601], he was brought up in the northern Netherlands where his widowed mother had emigrated following her conversion to Calvinism after her husband’s death. Daniel apparently began to study painting c. 1605. He was enrolled as a master in Antwerp in 1611, with Jan Breughel the elder named as his teacher. Seghers converted back to Catholicism and entered the Jesuit Order as a lay brother in Mechelen in 1614. He is recorded as a painter at the Collège de Bruxelles in 1621, when he produced two large Garlands of Flowers for the cathedral of St Michel in Brussels. In 1625 he took his final vows as a Jesuit priest, and from then onwards he signed his pictures as Daniel Seghers Societatis Jesu. After his ordination, he went to Rome, where he spent two years. In 1627 he returned to Antwerp and remained there until his death, working as a flower painter at his monastery.
— Seghers entered the order of the Jesuits in 1614, learned the style of floral painting directly from Jan Bruegel dei Velluti, assistant and friend of Rubens. He was in Rome for a short stay, returning then to his fatherland, where he continued his prolific production until his death. The artist specialized in a particularly special and acclaimed type of painting that made him famous throughout Europe. His compositions repeat the same scheme without great variations: rich garlands of flowers painted with meticulous attention to naturalistic phenomena according to the Flemish tradition of which Bruegel had been the leader, and false frames in stone that surround sacred scenes or figures of saints placed in the center, painted by other artists of Bruegel's circle.
— Daniel Seghers was born in Antwerp in 1590. He was a student of Jan Brueghel the Elder and joined the Saint Luke Guild of Antwerp in 1611. On 10 December 1614 he became a lay brother of the Jesuit order and made his vows in Brussels in 1625. After Seghers joined a monastery, he worked for high-ranking rulers, whom he was allowed to receive there. He got commissions from numerous European princes, such as Prince Frederick Henry of Orange and Nassau, who repeatedly sent him gifts. He was visited in his studio by potentates such as Charles I and Charles II of England, and the Archdukes Ferdinand and Leopold Wilhelm. Seghers specialized in painting garlands of flowers to frame religious scenes. This style can be traced back to the Madonna in a Floral Wreath, by Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder. But unlike the mentioned painting, Seghers paid more attention to a flower motif, trying to recover their spiritual symbolism, and religious scenes served to him as a background. Seghers was famous far beyond the borders of his country. He received a large number of commissions, was also renowned as a landscape artist and exerted a lasting influence on a large number of students.
— Jan Philips van Thielen, and Elligen were students of Seghers.
Floral Wreath with Madonna and Child (108x80cm; 1100x800pix, 163kb) _ Religious flower still-lifes are a special category, first developed by Seghers. While Dutch paintings of flowers, particularly tulips, clearly showed a tendency towards secularization (with noticeable emphasis on the economic and aesthetic value of flowers rather than their religious significance), Seghers tried to recover their spiritual symbolism, in accordance with the counter-reformational aims of the Jesuit order. They are set against dark backgrounds of cartouches or niches in shades of brown, with floral wreaths in glowing colors climbing up like garlands. Instead of being illuminated from outside, the wreaths seem to have a luminosity of their own.
Seghers generally had the Madonna painted in relief by some artist colleague (in this case by Cornelis Schut and J. van Thielen) before surrounding it with flowers and/or fruit. Thus his pictorial concept served to emphasize its character as a religious object, without any real presence of Mary or Jesus. They were devotional pictures, intended to confirm the practice of church worship, communicated through the illusionist reproduction of the religious object itself. It was not the artist's intention to produce a true-to-life fictitious reality that would enable the believer or viewer to bypass the Church and to enter into devout communication.
— Garland of Flowers (130x98cm, 1236x901pix, 173kb) _ Garlands of flowers became a specialty within the overall genre of Flemish floral painting. The theme was developed by Jan Brueghel and perfected by his best-known student, Daniel Seghers. The garland customarily surrounds a medallion or cartouche containing a religious image that was usually added by another specialist artist.
— Saint Gosswin Surrounded by Flowers (95x68cm).
— Floral Wreath with the Virgin and Child (86x62).
Died on 05 December 1926: Claude
Monet, French Impressionist painter born on 14 November
1840, dies of lung cancer (he was a smoker). He brought the study of the
transient effects of natural light to its most refined expression.
[Dommage qu'il n'ait pas été auteur dramatique: on aurait eu des pièces de Monet] [A-t-il eu une fille? La petite Monet?] [S'il faisait de l'équitation, son cheval devenait un porte-Monet] [Si sa femme avait fait du théâtre, elle serait devenue la Monet de la pièce. Et on aurait pu accuser ses imitatrices de faire la Monet]
Monet, with Pissaro [10 Jul 1830 12 Nov 1903], is recognized as being one of the creators of Impressionism, and he was the most convinced and consistent Impressionist of them all. From his earliest days as an artist, he was encouraged to trust his perceptions and the hardships he suffered never deterred him from that pursuit.
Claude Monet was born in Paris but all his impressions as a child and adolescent were linked with Le Havre, the town to which his family moved about 1845. His father had a grocery store there. In his youth he painted caricature portraits and exhibited them in the art supplies store in which Eugène Boudin worked at the time. Eventually Boudin persuaded the young Monet to paint in the open air with him and become a landscape painter. His family was not against his wish to become a painter, but his independent views, criticism towards academic art and refusal to enter a decent school of art led to constant quarrels with his family. After finishing his military service in Algeria (1860-1861) Monet attended the Académie Suisse and there made the acquaintance of Pissarro and Cézanne [19 Jan 1839 22 Oct 1906]. Later, in 1862, he entered the Atelier Gleyre, where he met Bazille 06 Dec 1841 28 Nov 1870], Renoir [25 Feb 1841 03 Dec 1919] and Sisley [30 Oct 1839 29 January 1899]. In 1860s, the young artists frequented the Café Guerbois, a place often visited by Emile Zola and Édouard Manet [23 Jan 1832 30 Apr 1883].
An important turning point in Monet’s artistic career came in 1869, when he and Renoir painted La Grenouillère, a floating restaurant at Bougival. The canvases they produced were the beginning of a new artistic movement, Impressionism, called so later.
In 1870, Monet married his model Camille Doncieux [–1879], who had born him his son Jean [1868-1914]; in 1879 their second son, Michel, was born. Camille sat for many of Monet's pictures, e.g. The Walkers, Women in the Garden (all four are Camille), The Walk. Lady with a Parasol, La Japonaise, and many others. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 and a short civil war (Commune) that followed, Monet lived in London and was introduced to Paul Durand-Ruel, a celebrated art dealer, who did much to popularize Impressionist works. In 1874, in an atmosphere of increasing hostility on the part of official artistic circles, Monet and his friends formed a group and exhibited on their own for the first time. One of his works at this exhibition, Impression: Sunrise (Impressions: Soleil Levant), gave its name to the Impressionist movement.
The following years saw a flourishing of Impressionism. Monet took part in the group’s exhibitions of 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879 and 1882. In those years he created such masterpieces as La Gare Saint-Lazare and Rue Saint-Denis, Festivities of 30 June, 1878. However, his canvases found few buyers. Desperately poor, he constantly looked for places where life was cheaper, and lived at Argenteuil from 1873 to 1878, at Vétheuil from 1879 to 1881, at Poissy in 1882, and at Giverny from 1883 until his death.
In the late 1880s, his painting began to attract the attention of both the public and critics. Fame brought comfort and even wealth. During that period the artist was absorbed in painting landscapes in series: The Rocks of Belle-Ile (1886), Cliffs at Belle-Ile (1886), Poplars on the Bank of the River Epte (1890), Poplars on the Banks of the Epte (1891), Poplars on the Bank of the River Epte (1891). Light is always the ‘principal person’ in Monet’s landscape, and since he was always aiming at seizing an escaping effect, he adopted a habit of painting the same subject under different conditions of light, at different times of day. In this way he painted a series of views, all of the same subject, but all different in color and lightning.
In 1890, Monet bought the property at Giverny and began work on the series of haystacks, which he pursued for two years. Monet painted the stacks in sunny and gray weather, in fog and covered with snow: Haystack, Snow Effects, Morning (1890), Haystack. End of the Summer. Morning. (1891), Haystack at the Sunset near Giverny (1891). In 1892 he married Alice Hoschedé [–1911] his old friend.
Monet’s renowned series of the cathedral at Rouen seen under different light effects was painted from a second-floor window above a shop opposite the façade. He made eighteen frontal views. Changing canvases with the light, Monet had followed the hours of the day from early morning with the façade in misty blue shadow, to the afternoon, when the sunset, disappearing behind the buildings of the city, weaves the weathered stone work into a strange fabric of burnt orange and blue: The Rouen Cathedral. Portail. The Albaine Tower (1894), The Rouen Cathedral at Noon (1894), The Rouen Cathedral (1893-1894), The Rouen Cathedral at Twilight (1894), The Rouen Cathedral in the Evening (1894).
In 1899, Monet first turned to the subject of water lilies: The White Water Lilies (1899), The Japanese Bridge (1899), Water-Lilies (1914), Water-Lilies (1916), Water-Lilies (1917), the main theme of his later work.
was born in Paris, but he spent most of his childhood in Le Havre. There,
in his teens, he studied drawing; he also painted seascapes outside with
the French painter Eugene Louis Boudin. By 1859 Monet had committed himself
to a career as an artist and began to spend as much time in Paris as possible.
During the 1860s he was associated with the preimpressionist painter Edouard
Manet, and with other aspiring French painters destined to form the impressionist
school — Camille Pissarro, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley.
Working outside, Monet painted simple landscapes and scenes of contemporary middle-class society, and he began to have some success at official exhibitions. As his style developed, however, Monet violated one traditional artistic convention after another in the interest of direct artistic expression. His experiments in rendering outdoor sunlight with a direct, sketchlike application of bright color became more and more daring, and he seemed to cut himself off from the possibility of a successful career as a conventional painter supported by the art establishment.
In 1874 Monet and his colleagues decided to appeal directly to the public by organizing their own exhibition. They called themselves independents, but the press soon derisively labeled them impressionists because their work seemed sketchy and unfinished (like a first impression) and because one of Monet's paintings had borne the title Impression: Sunrise (1872). Monet's compositions from this time are extremely loosely structured, and the color was applied in strong, distinct strokes as if no reworking of the pigment had been attempted. This technique was calculated to suggest that the artist had indeed captured a spontaneous impression of nature. During the 1870s and 1880s Monet gradually refined this technique, and he made many trips to scenic areas of France, especially the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, to study the most brilliant effects of light and color possible.
By the mid-1880s Monet, generally regarded as the leader of the impressionist school, had achieved significant recognition and financial security. Despite the boldness of his color and the extreme simplicity of his compositions, he was recognized as a master of meticulous observation, an artist who sacrificed neither the true complexities of nature nor the intensity of his own feelings. In 1890 he was able to purchase some property in the village of Giverny, not far from Paris, and there he began to construct a water garden (now open to the public)—a lily pond arched with a Japanese bridge and overhung with willows and clumps of bamboo.
Beginning in 1906, paintings of the pond and the water lilies occupied him for the remainder of his life; they hang in the Orangerie, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Throughout these years he also worked on his other celebrated “series” paintings, groups of works representing the same subject—haystacks, poplars, Rouen Cathedral, the river Seine—seen in varying light, at different times of the day or seasons of the year. Despite failing eyesight, Monet continued to paint almost up to the time of his death at Giverny.
Painter, artist, initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style. In mature works, developed method of producing several studies of the same subject in series, changing canvases with the light or as his interest shifted. These "series" were generally dated and were often exhibited in groups. Moved with his family to Le Havre in 1845. He attended public school in Le Havre and learned to draw from François-Charles Ochard, although the early instruction he received from Eugène Boudin was more critical. In 1859 Monet went to Paris where he attended the Académie Suisse and began a friendship with the older Camille Pissarro. He received formal art training in 1863 in the studio of Charles Gleyre, where he met Bazille, Renoir, and Sisley. Despite the acceptance of paintings at the Salons of 1865 and 1866, he suffered severe financial problems.
In 1873 Monet and other artists in his circle formed the Société Anonyme Coopérative d'Artistes-Peintres-Sculpteurs-Graveurs, which in 1874 held its first group show, later known as the first impressionist exhibition. Monet exhibited Impression: Sunrise, the painting from which the impressionists derived their name. Monet also participated in the second (1876), third (1877), fourth (1879), and seventh (1882) impressionist exhibitions. During his career, Monet painted in a number of locations throughout France as well as in London, Venice, the Low Countries, and Scandinavia. He established studios at Argenteuil (1871), then Vetheuil (1878), and finally Giverny (1883), where he bought a house and property in 1890 and began to concentrate on the famous paintings of his gardens. As Monet grew older, his eyesight deteriorated, but despite his failing vision, he continued to paint until his death. His last years were preoccupied by his grand cycles of water lily paintings.
— Self-Portrait (1917; _ZOOMable)
— Le Pont Japonais (1925, 88x115cm; recommended 915x1200pix; 1013kb_ ZOOM to 1525x2000pix; 3246kb) _ Monet made the footbridge in his garden at Giverny the subject of two series in 1895-1900 and 1919, and he returned to its wisteria-covered frame repeatedly in the 1920s. With its raw vigor and passionate coloring, this picture underscores an observation Monet once made of his water landscapes in general - it reveals "the instability of a universe transforming itself every moment before our eyes."
— Grainstack, Sun in the Mist (1891, 60x100cm; recommended 718x1200pix; 773kb_ ZOOM to 1196x2000pix; 2281kb) _ In the late 1880s, Claude Monet analyzed visual perception by representing the same subject under varying conditions of light, atmosphere, and weather. In one such series, he depicted the grainstacks near his house in Giverny. These conical structures of wheat, 5 to 7 meters high, protected the grain from rain and rodents. Typical of farming practice in France, the stacks came to symbolize the country's rural prosperity. Monet studied the grainstacks during different seasons as the sunlight changed in intensity. This picture shows the autumn dawn, at a moment when the sun evaporates the night's mist. The grainstack is seen against the morning light, which forms a halo around it. Up close, one sees a flickering patchwork of broken brushstrokes, each one a notation of light. At a distance, these colors coalesce into a brilliant, shimmering image.
— Haystacks, Snow Effect (1891, 65x92cm; 446x635pix, 131kb) _ Monet’s paintings of haystacks were among the boldest of his career. In the early 1890s he made a series of 25 pictures, each showing massive stacks of grain under a variety of light and weather conditions. Here they are seen against snow and sunshine, their bulky forms casting bright blue shadows. The intense colors and almost abstract pattern that they make fascinated Monet. But the picture’s real subject is the atmosphere itself – a freezing mist that positively glows with light.
— Thames below Westminster (1871, 47x72cm; 415x635pix, 91kb) _ Monet thought that London’s smog, made the city a very exciting subject for painting. In this view of the Thames, this mixture of fog and smoke is tinged with weak spring sunshine. Monet renders nearly the entire scene in pale, closely matched colors, observing how the plumes of smoke rising from the steamboats add to the foggy atmosphere. Only the wooden pier on the right stands out. Its striking geometry contrasts to the misty, ghostlike towers of the Houses of Parliament behind.
–- Water Lilies (1916, 166x142cm; 1160x932pix; 128kb _ .ZOOM to 2328x1868pix, 985kb _ .ZOOM+ to 4656x3736pix, 3857kb)
–- Waves Breaking (1881, 60x81cm; 850x1163pix, 131kb _ .ZOOM to 1713x2328pix, 975kb)
–- Sailboats on the Seine (1874, 54x65cm; 934x1132pix, 145kb _ .ZOOM to 1868x2264pix, 1326kb)
–- The Grand Canal, Venice (1908, 73x90cm; 882x1123pix, 140kb _ .ZOOM to 1765x2247pix, 708kb)
— Still Life with Pheasants and Plovers (1879, 68x90cm; recommended 904x1200pix _ ZOOM to 1507x2000pix)
Garden in Bordighera, Impression of Morning
Impression: Sunset, Pourville (1882)
Impression: Sunrise (1872)
— Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (1865; 535x747pix, 47kb) _ central detail (657x571pix, 28kb) _ detail at left (800x584pix, 144kb) _ not to be confused with the less dressy
_ Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (1863, 214x269cm) by Manet.
— 54 ZOOMable images at Wikimedia
1068 images at the Athaeneum 189 images at ABC.