Claude Monet

Claude Monet :: Water Lilies 1906

The Impressionist movement has been appealing to art lovers for about 150 years. While Claude Monet was not the sole inventor of the style, the movement was actually named after one of his paintings. Claude Monet was born in 1840. The 19th century brought us innovations that drastically changed how artists saw their role and their process. The advent of photography allowed artists to shift their focus away from use of paint as a means of recording what important people, places and things looked like. Artists started to shift their focus toward being more creative in their paintings focusing on color, and the expressive qualities that a camera could not capture. The tube of paint was also a 19th century invention. While it does not seem like such a big deal, the tube of paint made a wider range of hues available to artists and made those paints more portable. Monet and the Impressionists were well known to love painting outside. They stood in the landscape carefully capturing the colors as they saw them rather than staying in the studio painting from memory. While audiences today might look at paintings by Monet and other Impressionists as pleasant compositions that are fairly realistic, at the time, Impressionist paintings were revolutionary and viewed as scandalously sloppy when compared to the more traditional works that would have been seen in the Paris Salon.

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