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Claude Monet (1840-1926)





1840 Oscar Claude Monet born on 14 November at 45, Rue Lafitte, Paris, as the second son of shopkeeper  Claude Adolphe Monet and his wife Louise Justine Aubree.

1845 For financial reasons the family move to Le Havre.

1856 Drawing lessons from Charles Francois Ochard, a teacher in Havre. Meets the painter Eugene Boudin who subsequently becomes a good friend and who persuades him to work outdoors and to try painting in pastel and oils.

1857 His mother dies on 28 January.

1858 His first oil painting, View of Rouelles, is shown in exhibition in Le Havre.

1859 Goes to Paris to study painting. Joins the “Academie Suisse” run by Charles Jacques. There he meets Camille Pissarro and Gustave Courbet.

1861 Called up for military service. Conditions prove too hard for him , as a result he is sent back to Paris.

1862 Six months’ convalescence in Le Havre. There he meets Boudin and Johan Jongkind, with whom he soon becomes close friends. Attend the Atelier run by Charles Gleyre together with Bazille, Renoir, and Sisley.

1863 Sees paintings by Manet in the Galerie Martinet on the Boulevard des Italiens and is profoundly influenced. His previously generally dark palette now brightens noticeably.

1864 Visits Normandy coast near Honfleur with Bazille. After argument with his family has got his allowances cut off. Le Havre becomes his first patron.

1865 In Bazille’s studio he is visited by Cezanne, Courbet, Manet and Pissarro. Monet shows two seascapes at the Salon for the first time. Begins a large painting in Chailly, The Picnic,  using Camille Doncieux and Bazille as models. Works in Trouville in Normandy together with Boudin, Courbet and Daubigny.

1866 His portrait of Camille, or the Woman in the Green Dress is received in the Salon. He becomes friend with Zola.

1867 Bazille offers him accommodation in his Paris studio, where Renoir is already living. Claude and Camille’s son Jean is born in Paris on 8 August. The couple are in financial difficulties.

1868 Takes a room in Bennecourt on the Seine, where his financial worries lead him to attempt to drown himself. Two paintings are accepted by the Salon. In summer goes to Fecamp in Normandy. His patron , Gaudibert, buys back the paintings seized by creditors and commissions a portrait of his wife.

1869  In summer Monet goes to the Saint-Michel, where , together with Renoir, he paints colourful scenes of bathing and boating at La Grenouillere.

1870 His pictures are rejected by the Salon. On 26 June he marries Camille Leonie Doncieux. He visits London. Daubigny introduces him to the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel.

1871 Monet’s father dies. Monet travels to Holland. In autumn, an inheritance from his father and Camille’s dowry enable him to rent a house in Argenteuil on the Seine, where he begins a more comfortable lifestyle.

1872 Monet buys a boat and converts it into a floating studio. Returns to Holland in summer and to Argenteuil with Renoir in autumn.

1873 Meets Gustave Caillebotte, who paints is a hobby; he helps Monet. Together with friends Monet plans a society of independent artists wishing to exhibit their works separately from the Salon. The “Societe Anonyme Cooperative d’Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs” was founded towards the end of the year. Monet becomes the leading figure within this group of artists and takes over the role that Manet had played up till 1870.

1874 Firs group exhibition. Monet’s Impression, soleil levant  prompts the critic Louis Leroy to call the show an “Exhibition of Impressionists”. Monet suffers financial crisis.In the summer he paints in Argenteuil with Manet and Renoir. At the end of the year the “Societe Anonyme” goes bankrupt and has been dissolved.

1876 By the end of the year Monet returns to Paris from Montgeron where he staid with Ernest Hoschede. He starts the Gare Saint-Lazare series (1876 and 1877). Monet’s wife Camille falls seriously ill, possibly following an abortion attempt.

1877 Monet shows about 30 pictures in the third Impressionists exhibition.  His family is in severe financial difficulties.

1878 Monet’s family moves to Paris. His second son is born on 17 March.  In August the family move to a house in Vetheuil on the Seine. Monet seeks buyers for his paintings in Paris , but can barely cover his day to day expenses.

1879 Monet shows 29 paintings in the fourth Impressionists exhibition. Monet’s wife Camille dies on 5 September.

1880 Monet, Renoir and Sisley fall out with Degas and do not take part in the fifth Impressionists exhibition.

1882 Works on the Normandy coast. Shows 35 works on the seventh Impressionists exhibition.

1881 Towards the end of the year Monet moves from Vetheuil to Poissy on the Seine; he is accompanied by Alice Hoschede and children.

1883 Paint in Le Havre and Etretat at the beginning of the year. Retrospective of 56 painting at Durand-Ruel’s in Paris in March.  Rents a house in Giverny.

1886 ”Les XX” show 10 paintings by Monet in Brussels in February. In April and May he visits Holland for the third time.

1887 Durand-Ruel opens a gallery in New York. 15 works by Monet have got great success at the 6th Exposition Internationale at Petit gallery in Paris in May. 12 painting are shown in Durand-Ruel’s 2nd Impressionists exhibition at the national Academy of Design in New York in May and June.

1888 Revisits London in July. Following his return, refuses to accept the Cross of the Legion of Honour.

1889 A chronological retrospective held at Petit’s in Paris in June, featuring 145 painting by Monet , proves a huge success.  Monet organizes a private collection with the aim of purchasing Manet’s Olympia from the latter’s widow and presenting it to the Louvre as a gift to the nation.

1890 Purchases the house and its ground in Giverny where he has been living since 1883 and devotes himself to a garden.

1891 Ernest Hoschede dies on 18 March. The ambiguity previously surrounding Monet’s relationship with Alice Hoschede can now be resolved.

1892 Begins Rouen Cathedral series (until 1894), which he paints from the window of a nearby house. On 16 July he marries Alice Hoschede.

1893 In February purchases a larger piece of land near his house in Giverny; it contains a watercourse and a pond, which he gradually develops into a water garden with water lily pond.

1895 In spring builds a Japanese-style bridge in his garden and paints for the first time.

1899 In summer in his water garden Monet begins the series of Water Lilies and Japanese Bridges to which he is to dedicate himself until his death.  In London in autumn he starts a new series of Thames paintings which he paints from his hotel room in the Savoy.

1900 Following an accident in the summer he temporarily loses his sight and has to take a month’s rest.

1904 Buys a car and travels to Madrid with Alice for three weeks in October, in order to study the works of Spanish masters.

1907 Works almost exclusively on the Nympheas series.  The State buys one of Monet’s Rouen Cathedral pictures for the Palais du Luxembourg.

1908 Suffers in spring from weakening eyesight – the first symptoms of his grey cataracts – and occasional illness. Lengthy painting trip to Venice from September to December.

1911 Monet’s eyesight deteriorates. His wife dies on 19 May.

1914 Clemenceau and others suggest Monet should paint a group of large water lily mural decorations and present the to the State. This project is to occupy him until his death. His eldest son dies on 10 February.

1915 Builds a new, third studio, in order to be able to paint his over 4-m wide large-format mural decorations.

1922 In April Monet and a representative of the State sign an official donation of the Nympheas Decorations. These are now to be housed in two specially-built rooms in the Tuileries Orangerie, an annex of the Louvre.

1926 He dies on 6 December, at his own request without ceremony or speeches.

Index of pictures












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