While writing on Camille Pissarro Rose, I chanced upon Claude Monet Rose which in some ways looks similar to my untrained eyes. This fruity-scented rose variety has carmine, orange to creamy white base stripes, and was bred by Jack E Christensen later introduced by Delbard to the European market in 1992.
Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926), a French Impressionist painter who needs no introduction, his famous water lilies paintings were reproduced and mentioned regularly in media. Monet’s renowned garden in Giverny was bequeathed by his son Michel to the French Academy of Fine Arts in 1966. Through the Foundation Claude Monet, the house and gardens were opened for visits in 1980 after restoration. The house and garden are major attractions in Giverny and hosted tourists from all over the world.
Monet started his training for a career in art since young with the support of his mother, a singer. But at age 16, his mother passed away and he has to leave school and went to live with his childless aunt. In 1861, Monet was drafted into the military service for 7 years. His prosperous father declined to buy him out of the service because Monet refused to give up his painting. After a year in the army, Monet contacted typhoid fever, during his convalescence, Monet’s aunt get him out of the army and later went to an art school.
Disillusioned with the traditional art teachings, Monet met with a group of Impressionist artist and shared the new approaches to art, painting the effects of light en plein air. Crucial to the art of the Impressionist painters was the understanding of the effects of light and juxtaposition of colours on the objects.
On 28 June 1870, Monet married Camille Doncieux and both lived in poverty partially due to the Franco Prussian war which broke out a month later. Monet continued his painting and was inspired by the style and subject matter of Camille Pissarro and Edouard Manet.
In 1878, Monet lived in a village on the right bank of the Seine River near Paris and produced some paintings in the floating boat studio. Monet study on the effects of light and reflections on the water and surrounding objects, changed his mind set from scenes and objects to colours and shapes.
In 1878 Camille Monet was diagnosed with uterine cancer and died on 5 September 1879 at the young age of 32. Monet painted and analyse the colours in oil on his dead wife, which he said was both the joy and torment moment of his life. John Berger described this painting as “a blizzard of white, grey, purplish paint…a terrible blizzard of loss which will forever efface her features. In fact, there can be very few death-bed paintings which have been so intensely felt or subjectively expressive.”
During the early 1880s, Monet painted some landscapes and seascapes. These began to evolve into series of painting of the same scene in different time in order to capture the changing light and the passing of the seasons.
His first series exhibited was of haystacks, painted from different points of view and at different times of the day. In 1892 he produced his best-known series of 26 views of Rouen Cathedral. In these paintings, Monet broke with painterly traditions by cropping the subject to change the focus on the play of light and shade instead of the building.
In 1892, Monet married Alice Hoschede who had taken care of Monet two sons, Jean and Michel. They moved to Giverny in 1883 and by November 1890 bought the house and the land around it, the family continued to develop the garden. White water lilies local to France were planted along with imported ones resulting in a range of colours including yellow, blue and white lilies that turned pink with age. Some of Monet large scale paintings on the water lilies pond were housed in Musee de l’Orangerie in France.
In 1899, Monet began to paint the water lilies pond with different views and the alternating and mirror-like reflections that became an integral part of his work. By mid-1910, Monet has achieved a completely new, fluid and spontaneous abstract style of painting on the water lilies.
In 1923, Monet underwent two operations to remove his cataracts. The effect of the failing sights was shown in some of his paintings. Monet passed away on 5 December 1926 at age 86 of lung cancer. He was buried in the Giverny church cemetery.