Claude Monet (1840 - 1926)
Claude Monet is the central figure of Impressionism. The pioneering movement had its seed in an encounter between a teenaged caricaturist and a local painter, at the shop of the only picture framer in Le Havre. There, young Monet was introduced to Eugene Boudin; Academy-trained, but one who liked to paint his beach scenes in the open air,in dabs of pure colour with loose, delicate brushstrokes. That summer,m Boudin taught Monet to draw and paint directly from nature, 'in the light', within the atmosphere, just as things are'. To honour Boudin, the Impressionists included him in their first Paris exhibition.
In April 1874, a group of artists - all Salon rejects - mounted their show in a former photographic studio. Some of the names read now like a role of honour: Cezanne, Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley. Most critics were scathing and the term "Impressionism" was unwittingly coined by one, Louis Leroy, who reserved particular scorn for Monet's Impression Sunrise. Turning the joke back on Leroy, the artists adopted the name permanently.
In 1926, Monet died of lung cancer in Giverny.