Claude Monet collectibles
Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a French landscape painter and one of the leaders of the Impressionist art movement that began in Paris in the late 19th century. The movement itself took its name from one of his paintings, ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (1872) and his work was emblematic of the style, emphasising the nature of natural light and movement along with open landscapes and everyday subject matter.
Impressionist painters took their canvases out from the studio and into the real world, a style known as ‘plein-air’ painting, and Monet’s work contains a true vibrant sense of his subjects which often takes precedence over line and accuracy.
Claude Monet was born in Paris in 1840 and showed considerable artistic promise as a child. During his later teenage years he became friends with a number of Parisian artists with whom he shared the same ideas, such as Édouard Manet, but he became disillusioned with the manner in which art was taught and felt the old styles of painting too restrictive.
In 1861, Monet joined the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in Algeria, but after just two of his seven years in the military he was struck down with typhoid fever, and was released from service (with help from his Aunt) on the grounds that he complete a course at an art school.
He became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, and during this time he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. Their new ideas and techniques would later come to form the basis of the Impressionist movement.
In 1870 Monet moved to England to escape the Franco-Prussian War along with his wife and model Camille Doncieux , then returned to Paris (via a stay in the Netherlands) in 1871.
In 1872 he painted ‘Impression, Sunrise’, which was described by Louis Leroy in a critique of an exhibition as ‘impressionist’. Although this term was meant in a derogatory manner, the French painters embraced it and the Impressionist movement was truly born.
Monet's wife Camille died in 1879, and he set up home with Alice Hoschedé, the wife of one of his most important patrons, along with their respective children. During the 1880s Monet travelled through France painting a variety of landscapes and gaining a comfortable level of fame and success.
From about 1890 he began to paint series of pictures of one subject, including 'Haystacks', 'Rouen Cathedral' and 'Waterlilies'. The ‘Waterlilies series was painted in the garden Monet built at his house at Giverny, a property north-west of Paris where he lived from 1883.
Monet died from lung cancer on 5 December 1926, at the age of 86.
Monet’s most famous early works include ‘The Woman in the Green Dress’ (1866), ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (1872), ‘Camille Monet on a Garden Bench’ (1873), Woman with a Parasol (1878) and Haystacks (Sunset) (1891).
Monet is, however, perhaps best known for his later series of over 250 paintings around the theme of water lilies, painted in his garden at Giverny. Paintings from this series account for the majority of his best-selling work.
In November 2004 Monet’s painting ‘London, the Parliament, Effects of Sun in the Fog’ sold for £11 million at a Christie’s auction in New York.
In June 2007 Sotheby’s in London sold a painting from Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ series for £18.5 million, making the second-most expensive Monet work at the time.
At another New York Christie’s auction in May 2008, his painting ‘Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil’ (1873) sold for $41,480,000 (including buyer’s premium).
One month later in June 2008 his work ‘Le bassin aux nymphéas’ (1919) was sold by Christie’s in London £40,921,250 ($80,451,178), becoming the most expensive Monet painting ever sold at auction.
See main article: Top 10 Claude Monet paintings sold at auction
On 14 May 1997, Christie's New York sold an autographed letter written by Monet for $1,035.
On 20 February 2006, an autographed letter written by Claude Monet was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries. The letter sold for $2,031.50.