b. Paris, 1840 - d. Giverny, 1926
Claude Monet studied at the Académie Suisse and then at the studio of Charles Gleyre in Paris, where he met Frederic Bazille, August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. The first painting he sent to the Salon in 1868 was accepted, but in 1869 his works were refused. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Monet went to London, where he joined Sisley, Pissarro and Daubigny and was introduced to the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. In London this group discovered the art of Constable and Turner. After his return to France, Monet moved to Argenteuil, near Paris (1873-74), where he was joined by Renoir and Manet. There he painted the Seine, the river banks, and the regattas, while looking for the most fugitive, fluid aspects of nature, which he rendered in bright colors. In 1874, the first exhibition of the group, later called the Impressionists, took place, with Monet as the leader of the movement. Monet and his friends eliminated all the opaque tones from their palette and did away with local color and clearly defined contours. The tones were divided and each applied separately in order for the light to be decomposed into the colors of the prism. In 1878, Monet moved to Vetheuil, and in 1883 to Giverny, where he spent the rest of his long life, except for brief travels abroad. He was a keen observer of nature, had an outstanding gift as a colorist, and was the most consistent of all the Impressionists in the development of the Impressionist vision and style.