Today, the name of Claude Monet is one of the most recognizable artist names in fine art. Despite his tremendous popularity today, Claude Monet also holds a distinguished role in the development of Impressionism as a major force within the world of art. His place in the group of artists who founded the style of Impressionism is uncontested based on the fact that Claude Monet artwork is quintessentially Impressionist in its style and creation.
Monet was born in Paris, France is 1840 and attended the Le Havre Secondary School of the Arts where he received his initial training in painting. He also attended the Academie Suisse, rather than the more traditional and prestigious l'Ecole de Beaux Arts. He would also become a student of other French painters including Eugene Boudin and Charles Gleyre which is where he continued learning about the practice of painting en plein air while starting to evolve into the painter of looser brush strokes and segmented colors which would become characteristic to the movement known as Impressionism.
The new tradition of art that the oil paintings of Claude Monet began to usher in was dramatically different from other predominate art movements. Claude Monetís paintings easily displayed his working style; one which was fairly consistent among the Impressionists and included a great amount of work en plein air in order to carefully consider the shifts in light that accounted for the wash and lack of precise, detailed brushstrokes that other artists strived to achieve.
The use of light in the paintings of Claude Monet allowed for his use of bright and saturated color tones which were another contrast to dull and dark colors of other contemporary artists whose work was outside the realm of the Impressionist movement. Another important aspect of the working process of Claude Monetís paintings is that the numerous studies of light he conducted were all complete paintings on canvases that were roughly completed in a very short amount of time.
The reason behind the necessary high speed of Monetís painting was that he believed in painting what he saw, and since that one of the most important elements of his vision was the quality and characteristics of light, he had to work quickly before the light changed as the sun moved. The quickness with which Monet painted can be considered another factor in the great amount of texture and quick brushstrokes which are easily visible.
The last paintings of Claude Monet were those of Water Lily Pool series which he painted on his estate in Giverny, France. Though these culminating paintings of Monetís career are still very popular today, works which span his entire career are held in equally high regard. Some of the other most famous Claude Monet oil paintings are: Sunset in Venice, Houses of Parliament, Haystacks, Poppies, and Madame Monet and Her Son. Each subject which Monet painted often includes several in each series, all depicting different versions of the light and its effect on the overall vision of the subject, something to which the Impressionists and he, as one of the artists in the forefront of the movement, aspired to.