Claude Monet (November 14, 1840-December 5, 1926) is arguably the most important figure in the foundation of the French Impressionist school of painting. Its most consistent and prolific practitioner, Monet applied the movement's philosophy of exploring and expressing one's perceptions before nature, particularly in his well-known landscape paintings. In fact, the term Impressionism is derived from the title of his 1872 painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant). Inspired by the Barbizon painters of the early-nineteenth century, Monet's dedication to painting en plein air led him to question the formalized European traditions of color, composition, and representation. Monet's studies of French landscapes, leisurely activities of the upper-middle class, portraits, architecture, and garden scenes are recognized as seminal influences on not only the late 1800s, but also the painters of the early twentieth century. Monet died in Giverny in 1926, and his home and prolific garden were bequeathed to the French Academy of Fine Arts, and are currently open to the public.
View all of Claude Monet's work.