Oscar-Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a French painter and founder of impressionist painting who is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially in his attempts to paint nature as he perceived it. During his long career, he was the most consistent and prolific practitioner of impressionism's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air (outdoor) landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant, exhibited in 1874 (the "exhibition of rejects") initiated by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon.
Monet was raised in Le Havre, Normandy, where he took an early interest in nature and drawing. His mother, Louise-Justine Aubrée Monet, encouraged him to become a painter, but his father, Claude-Adolphe, disapproved and wanted him to pursue a business career. His mother died in January 1857, when he was sixteen, and he was sent to live with his childless, widowed, and wealthy aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre. Auguste Renoir was his classmate at the Académie Suisse, where he studied under the academic history painter Charles Gleyre. His early works consist of landscapes, seascapes, and portraits, but they garnered little attention. Eugène Boudin was an important early influence because he introduced him to plein air painting. Monet moved to Giverny, also in northern France, in 1883, where he purchased a house and property and began an extensive landscaping project, which included the construction of a water-lily pond.
Monet's desire to record the French countryside inspired him to paint the same scene multiple times to capture the shifting of light and the passing of the seasons. His series of haystacks (1890–91), paintings of the Rouen Cathedral (1894), and paintings of water lilies in his garden in Giverny, which occupied him continuously for the last 20 years of his life, are among his most renowned works.
Monet's fame and popularity skyrocketed in the second half of the 20th century, when he became one of the world's most renowned painters and a source of inspiration for burgeoning artistic communities.
On 14 November 1840, Claude Monet was born on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. He was the second son of second-generation Parisians Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet. Oscar-Claude was baptized in the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette church in Paris on 20 May 1841, but his parents called him Oscar. Monet, despite having been baptized as a Catholic, later became an atheist.
His family moved to Le Havre, Normandy, in 1845. Monet's father, a wholesaler, wanted him to join the family's ship-handling and grocery business, but he desired to be an artist. His mother, a singer, encouraged him to pursue a career in art.
On 1 April 1851, he enrolled in Le Havre's secondary arts school. After demonstrating talent in art from a young age, he began drawing caricatures and portraits of acquaintances for money at age 15. Jacques-Francois Ochard, a former pupil of Jacques-Louis David, taught him his first drawing techniques. He met fellow artist Eugène Boudin around 1858; he encouraged Monet to develop his techniques, taught him "en plein air" (outdoor) painting techniques, and took Monet on painting excursions. Monet considered Boudin his master, to whom "he owed everything" for his subsequent success.
He lost his mother in 1857. He lived with his father and his aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre; Lecadre was a source of support for Monet's early artistic endeavors.
Monet continued his studies from 1858 to 1860 in Paris, where he enrolled at Académie Suisse and met Camille Pissarro in 1859. He was drafted and served in Algeria from 1861 to 1862 with the Chasseurs d'Afrique (African Hunters). Monet's time in Algeria had a profound impact on him, and he later remarked that the light and vivid colors of North Africa "contained the jewel of my future research." Illness compelled his return to Le Havre, where he purchased the remainder of his service and met Johan Barthold Jongkind, who, along with Boudin, was Monet's most influential mentor.
Upon his return to Paris, he divided his time between his childhood home and the countryside and enrolled in the studio of Charles Gleyre, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Frédéric Bazille. Bazille became his closest friend over time. They traveled to Honfleur in search of subject matter, where Monet painted several "studies" of the harbor and the mouth of the Seine. Monet frequently collaborated with Renoir and Alfred Sisley, both of whom shared his desire to articulate new aesthetic standards for conventional subjects.
During this period, he painted Women in the Garden, his first successful large-scale work, and Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, the "most significant painting of Monet's early period." Having debuted at the Salon in 1865 with La Pointe de la Hève at Low Tide and Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur to widespread acclaim, he hoped that Le déjeuner sur l'herbe would help him break into the 1866 Salon. He was unable to complete it in time and instead submitted The Woman in the Green Dress and Pavé de Chailly for publication. After that, he submitted works annually to the Salon until 1870, but they were only accepted twice, in 1866 and 1868. He did not submit any additional works to the Salon until his final submission in 1880. His work was deemed radical and "prohibited on all official levels."
Camille Doncieux, whom he had met two years earlier as a model for his paintings, gave birth to their first son, Jean, in 1867. Monet's relationship with Jean was strong, and he claimed that Camille was his lawful wife so that Jean would be considered legitimate. As a result of the relationship, Monet's father stopped providing financial support. Monet had been forced to relocate to his aunt's home in Sainte-Adresse earlier in the year. There, he immersed himself in his work despite a temporary problem with his eyesight that was likely stress-related and prevented him from working in sunlight. Monet cherished his family and painted numerous portraits of them, including Jean Monet with a cup. This painting displays the earliest traces of Monet's later, renowned impressionism.
The following year, with the assistance of art collector Louis-Joachim Gaudibert, he reunited with Camille and moved to Étretat. In the 1870s, he continued his efforts to establish himself as a painter of "explicitly contemporary, bourgeois" figures. He did evolve his painting technique and incorporate stylistic experimentation into his plein-air style, as evidenced by The Beach at Sainte-Adresse and On the Banks of the Seine, the former being his "first sustained tourism-related painting campaign."
Several of his works were acquired by Gaudibert, who also commissioned a portrait of his wife, among other works; for two years, the Gaudiberts were "the most generous of Monet's hometown patrons." Monet was later supported financially by the artist and art collector Gustave Caillebotte, Bazille, and possibly Gustave Courbet, despite the fact that creditors continued to pursue him.
On June 28, 1870, just prior to the outbreak of the Franco-German War, he married Camille. To avoid conscription, he and his family lived in London and the Netherlands during the war. Monet and Charles-Francois Daubigny self-isolated themselves. While residing in London, Monet met his old friend Pissarro, the American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and his first and primary art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, a meeting that would have a significant impact on his career. There, he viewed and admired the works of John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, and was particularly impressed by Turner's use of light in his depictions of the Thames fog. He painted the Thames, Hyde Park, and Green Park repeatedly. In the spring of 1871, his works were denied permission to be exhibited at the Royal Academy, and the police suspected him of involvement in revolutionary activities. In the same year, he learned that his father had died.
In 1871, the family relocated to Argenteuil, where he, influenced by his time with Dutch painters, primarily painted the Seine's environs. He purchased a sailboat so he could paint on the river. In 1874, he signed a six-and-a-half-year lease and moved into a newly constructed "rose-colored house with green shutters" in Argenteuil, where he created fifteen panoramic paintings of his garden. It was likely the first time that Monet cultivated a garden for artistic purposes when he painted Gladioli. In his final years in Argenteuil, the house and garden became the "single most significant" motif. Four years later, he primarily painted in Argenteuil and became interested in the color theories of chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul. He rented a large villa in Saint-Denis for a thousand francs per year for three years of the decade. Camille Monet on a Garden Bench depicts the villa's garden and, according to some interpretations, Camille's grief upon learning of her father's passing.
During this time, Monet and Camille were frequently in dire financial straits; they were unable to pay their hotel bill during the summer of 1870 and likely lived on the outskirts of London due to lack of funds. In 1872, however, an inheritance from his father and sales of his paintings enabled them to hire two servants and a gardener. After a successful exhibition of maritime paintings and the awarding of a silver medal at Le Havre, creditors seized Monet's paintings, from whom they were repurchased by a shipping merchant, Gaudibert, who was also a patron of Boudin.
Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and Berthe Morisot exhibited their work independently under the name the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers, of which Monet was a leading figure in the formation. His style and subject matter were influenced by his slightly older contemporaries, Pissarro and Édouard Manet. The group, whose name was chosen to avoid association with any style or movement, was united in their rejection of the prevailing academicism and independence from the Salon. Monet earned a reputation as the group's preeminent landscape painter.
Monet displayed, among other works, Impression, Sunrise, The Luncheon, and Boulevard des Capucines at his first exhibition in 1874. Louis Leroy, an art critic, wrote a negative review. He coined the term "Impressionism" after noticing Impression, Sunrise (1872), a hazy depiction of Le Havre port and stylistic deviation. Conservative critics and the public ridiculed the group, the term at first implying that the painting was unfinished. Louis Edmond Duranty referred to their style as a "revolution in painting" when praising their depiction of contemporary life. He later regretted suggesting the name, as he believed that the majority of the group "had nothing impressionist about them."
The estimated number of attendees is 3,500. Monet priced Impression: Sunrise at one thousand francs, but the painting did not sell. The exhibition was accessible to anyone willing to pay 60 francs, and artists were able to display their work without interference from a jury. Another exhibition was held in opposition to the Salon in 1876. Monet exhibited 18 paintings, including The Beach at Sainte-Adresse, which exemplified multiple Impressionist traits.
For the third exhibition, held on 5 April 1877, he chose seven paintings from the dozen he had created of Gare Saint-Lazare over the previous three months. This was the first time he had "synchronized so many paintings of the same site, carefully coordinating their scenes and temporalities." The paintings were well received by critics, who praised his ability to depict the arrival and departure of trains. By the fourth exhibition, his participation was contingent on Caillebotte's negotiation. His last Impressionist exhibition was in 1882, four years before the final Impressionist exhibition.
Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Morissot, Cézanne, and Sisley experimented with novel techniques for depicting reality. They favored the pale tones of their contemporaries, such as those of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Boudin, over the dark, contrasting lighting of romantic and realist paintings. After developing techniques for painting ephemeral effects, Monet sought more challenging subjects, new patrons, and collectors; his paintings from the early 1870s had a lasting impact on the movement and his contemporaries, many of whom moved to Argenteuil as a result of their admiration for his depiction.
Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son was painted in 1875, after he had abandoned figure painting with The Luncheon. His fascination with the figure persisted for the next four years, reaching its zenith in 1877 and coming to an end in 1890. In a "In a "extraordinarily revealing" letter to Théodore Duret, Claude Monet discussed his renewed interest: "I am working like never before on a new endeavor: figures in plein air, as I understand them. This is an old dream that has always fascinated me and that I would like to finally master. But everything is so difficult! I am working extremely hard, almost to the point of becoming ill ".
Camille Monet became gravely ill in 1876. After the birth of their second son, Michel, in 1878, Camille's health deteriorated further. In the fall of that year, they relocated to the village of Vétheuil, where they lived with the family of Ernest Hoschedé, a wealthy department store owner and art patron who had commissioned four paintings from Monet. Camille was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 1878. She died the following year. Monet's career was hampered by her death and financial difficulties (he once had to flee his home to avoid creditors); Hoschedé had recently acquired several paintings but soon went bankrupt, leaving for Paris in the hope of regaining his fortune as interest in the Impressionists waned.
Monet created an oil portrait of his late wife. He confessed to his friend Georges Clemenceau many years later that his need to analyze colors was both a joy and a burden. He explained, "I found myself one day staring at my deceased wife's face and systematically noting the colors as an automatic reflex." The work is described by John Berger as "A blizzard of white, grey, and purple paint... a terrible blizzard of loss that will obliterate her features forever. In actuality, there are probably very few death-bed paintings that are so subjectively felt or expressive."
Monet continued his study of the Seine. In 1880, he submitted two paintings to the Salon, of which one was accepted. As his paintings utilized darker tones and depicted harsh environments, such as the Seine river, he abandoned Impressionist techniques. The remainder of the decade was spent concentrating on the elemental aspects of nature. His private life contributed to his distancing himself from the Impressionists. He returned to Étretat and expressed his desire to die in letters to Alice Hoschedé, whom he would marry in 1892 following the death of her husband the previous year. In 1881, he relocated to Poissy with Alice and her children and resold his paintings to Durand-Ruel. Suzanne, the third daughter of Alice, would succeed Camille as Monet's "preferred model."
In April 1883, while riding the train between Vernon and Gasny in Normandy, he discovered Giverny. In the same year, his first major retrospective exhibition took place.
Monet's battles with creditors came to an end after a series of prosperous trips; in 1884, he visited Bordighera and brought back 50 landscapes. In 1886, he traveled to the Netherlands to paint tulips. He quickly met and befriended Gustave Geffroy, who wrote an article about Monet. Monet's paintings were sold in America and contributed to his financial security despite his reservations. In contrast to the last two decades of his career, Monet preferred working alone and believed he was always at his best when he did so, having often "longed for solitude, away from crowded tourist resorts and sophisticated urban areas." This desire was expressed repeatedly in his letters to Alice.
Monet and his family rented a home and gardens in Giverny in 1883, which provided him with the domestic stability he had not yet experienced. The residence was located near the main road connecting Vernon and Gasny in Giverny. A barn that doubled as a painting studio, orchards, and a small garden were present. The house was close enough to the local schools for the children to attend, and the surrounding landscape provided Monet with ample opportunities to paint natural scenes.
The family worked and developed the gardens, and Monet's fortunes began to improve as Durand-Ruel began to sell his paintings with increasing success. For forty years, the gardens were Monet's primary source of inspiration. In 1890, Monet acquired the residence. During the 1890s, Monet constructed a greenhouse and a second studio, a spacious, skylight-lit structure.
Monet composed daily instructions for his gardener, precise planting designs and layouts, and invoices for his floral purchases and botany book collection. As Monet's wealth grew, so did his garden. Even after employing seven gardeners, he remained its architect. Monet acquired additional property containing a water meadow. White water lilies indigenous to France were planted alongside imported cultivars from South America and Egypt, resulting in a variety of hues including yellow, blue, and white lilies that aged to pink. In 1902, he nearly quadrupled the size of his water garden; the pond was enlarged in 1901 and 1910, and easels were placed around it so that different perspectives could be captured.
To alleviate his dissatisfaction with the limitations of Impressionism, Monet began a series of paintings depicting single subjects, including haystacks, poplars, and the Rouen Cathedral. In 1898, the Petit gallery exhibited 61 paintings from this series, which garnered widespread critical and financial acclaim. He also began the Mornings on the Seine series, which depicted the river at dawn. In 1887 and 1889, he exhibited a series of Belle Île paintings to critical acclaim. Monet selected the location in hopes of discovering a "new aesthetic language that bypassed learned formulas, one that was both true to nature and unique to him as an individual, unlike anything else."
In 1899, he began painting the water lilies that would occupy him for the remaining 20 years of his life, constituting his final and "most ambitious" series of works. In 1900, he exhibited this first group of photographs of the garden, which focused primarily on his Japanese bridge. In 1899, he returned to London, where he resided at the prestigious Savoy Hotel, and produced a series of paintings that included 41 of Waterloo bridge, 34 of Charing Cross bridge, and 19 of the House of Parliament. In 1908, Monet's last journey would be to Venice with Alice.
His work incorporated depictions of water lilies with alternating light and reflections resembling mirrors. Monet achieved "a completely new, fluid, and somewhat audacious style of painting in which the water-lily pond became the point of departure for an almost abstract art" by the mid-1910s. In a review of Monet's successful 1909 exhibition of the first Water Lilies series, Claude Roger-Marx remarked that the artist had "reached the zenith of combined abstraction and imagination with the real." This exhibition, titled Waterlilies, a Series of Waterscape, featured 42 canvases, representing his "largest and most cohesive series to date." He would produce over 250 Waterlily paintings in total.
Monet hosted artists, writers, intellectuals, and politicians from France, England, Japan, and the United States at his residence. In the summer of 1887, he met John Singer Sargent, whose experimentation with figure painting outdoors piqued his interest; the two artists went on to influence one another frequently.
Alice, Monet's second wife, passed away in 1911, and his eldest son, Jean, who had married Blanche, Alice's daughter and Monet's favorite, passed away in 1914. Their deaths depressed Monet, who was cared for by Blanche. During this time, Monet began to exhibit the first symptoms of cataracts. Monet traveled to London in 1913 to meet with the German ophthalmologist Richard Liebreich. New glasses were prescribed, and he declined cataract surgery for his right eye. The following year, with Clemenceau's encouragement, Monet made plans to build a new, large studio where he could create a "decorative cycle of paintings devoted to the water garden."
In the years that followed, his perception of color deteriorated, as his broad strokes grew wider and his paintings grew darker. To achieve his desired result, he began to label his paint tubes, kept his palette in strict order, and wore a straw hat to reduce glare. He approached painting by forming the concepts and characteristics in his mind, then transcribing them through memory and imagination. This was because he was "insensitive" to "fine shades of tones and colors seen up close."
As he became more reclusive, Monet's output diminished, although he did produce several panel paintings for the French government between 1914 and 1918 to great financial success, and he would later create works for the state. The majority of his work on the "cycle of paintings" occurred between 1916 and 1921. Again, cataract surgery was suggested, this time by Clemenceau. Monet, who was apprehensive following the botched operations of Honoré Daumier and Mary Cassatt, stated that he would rather have poor vision and possibly abandon painting than give up "a little of these things that I love." Monet began a series of landscape paintings "in full force" in 1919, despite his dissatisfaction with the results. In November, despite his initial reluctance to part with his work, he sold four of the eleven Water Lilies paintings that he had painted en plein air in October. The series garnered praise from his contemporaries; his later works were well received by dealers and collectors, and one collector gave him 200,000 francs.
In 1922, mydriatics were prescribed for temporary relief. In 1923, he eventually underwent cataract surgery. Persistent cyanosis and aphakia were a source of difficulty. Now that he was "able to see the true colors," he began destroying paintings from his pre-operational period. Monet was ecstatic to receive tinted Zeiss lenses, but he soon had to cover his left eye entirely with a black lens. In 1925, his visual impairment improved, and he began retouching some of his pre-surgery works to include bluer water lilies.
During World War I, when his son Michel served, Monet painted a series of Weeping Willows as a tribute to the fallen French soldiers. During the war, he became extremely devoted to the upkeep of his garden's aesthetics.
Monet has been called "the driving force of Impressionism." Understanding the effects of light on the local color of objects and the effects of the juxtaposition of colors was crucial to the art of the Impressionist painters. Impression, Sunrise exemplifies the "fundamental" Impressionist tenet of depicting only the purely visible. Monet was captivated by the effects of light and plein air painting; he believed that his only "merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature while attempting to capture the most fleeting effects" In an effort to "paint the air," he frequently combined contemporary subjects with natural light.
Monet made illumination the focal point of his paintings. In order to capture its variations, he would occasionally complete a painting in a single sitting, frequently without preparation. He desired to demonstrate how light affected color and reality perception. In the late 1860s, he developed an interest in light and reflection, which lasted throughout his career. During his first stay in London, he came to appreciate the relationship between the artist and motifs, or what he termed the "envelope." He drew subjects and motifs with a pencil for future reference.
Monet's landscapes emphasized industrial elements such as railroads and factories; his early seascapes depicted foreboding nature with muted colors and locals. In 1874, Monet's friend and critic Théodore Duret noted that he was "little attracted by rustic scenes...He [felt] particularly drawn to nature when it is embellished and to urban scenes, and he painted flower gardens, parks, and groves with a preference." Monet desired that, when depicting figures and landscapes together, the landscape not be a mere backdrop and the figures not dominate the composition. Renoir was reprimanded by Monet for disregarding his dedication to such a style of landscape painting. As a young artist, he frequently depicted the suburban and rural leisure activities of Paris and experimented with still lifes. Beginning in the 1870s, he gradually moved away from suburban and urban landscapes, depicting them only to further his study of light. Contemporary critics, and later academics, believed that by exhibiting Belle Île, he had signaled a desire to move away from the modern culture of Impressionist paintings and toward the primitive nature.
After meeting Boudin, Monet devoted himself to the pursuit of novel and more effective techniques of painterly expression. To this end, he visited the Salon as a young man to become acquainted with the works of older painters and to make friends with other young artists. The five years he spent in Argenteuil, primarily in a small floating studio on the Seine, were formative for his study of the effects of light and reflections. He began to consider scenes and objects in terms of colors and shapes. He painted with dabs, dashes, and squiggles of vibrant colors. Having rejected the academic teachings of Gleyre's studio, he declared, "I prefer to paint the way a bird sings," thus liberating himself from theory. Monet was influenced by Boudin, Daubigny, Jongkind, Courbet, and Corot, and he frequently worked in accordance with developments in avant-garde art.
In a series of paintings created in 1877 at St-Lazare Station, Monet examined the effects of smoke and steam on color and visibility, which were sometimes opaque and sometimes translucent. He intended to use this research to paint the effects of fog and rain on the landscape. The study of atmospheric effects resulted in a number of series of paintings in which Monet repeatedly painted the same subject (such as his series of water lilies) in different lighting, at different times of day, and as the weather and seasons changed. This process started in the 1880s and lasted until his death in 1926. Monet "transcend[ed]" the Impressionist style and began to push the boundaries of art in his later years.
In the 1870s, Monet refined his palette by minimizing the use of darker tones and favoring pastel hues. This corresponded with his softer approach, which involved smaller, more varied brushstrokes. In the 1880s, he would alter his palette once more, placing greater emphasis than before on the harmony between warm and cool hues. After undergoing an eye operation in 1923, Monet returned to his style from the preceding decade. He eschewed garish hues and "rough application" in favor of blue and green color schemes. As a result of cataracts, his paintings became more expansive and abstract; beginning in the late 1880s, he simplified his compositions and sought out subjects that could offer broad color and tone. Following his trip to Venice, he began to increasingly employ red and yellow hues. During this time, Monet frequently traveled alone, from France to Normandy to London, to the Rivera and Rouen, in search of new and more challenging subject matter.
The change in style was likely a result of the disorder and not a deliberate decision. Due to the deterioration of his eyesight, Monet frequently worked on large canvases, and by 1920 he admitted that he had become too accustomed to broad painting to return to smaller canvases. Academics have debated the impact of his cataracts on his output; Lane et al. (1997) contends that the onset of deterioration from the late 1860s onwards led to a diminution of sharp lines. Gardens were a recurring theme in his artwork, gaining prominence in his later works, particularly during the last decade of his life. Daniel Wildenstein observed a "seamless" continuity "enriched by innovation" in his paintings.
After returning from London, Monet painted primarily from nature in his own garden, including water lilies, a pond, and a bridge. From the 22nd of November to the 15th of December, 1900, another exhibition dedicated to him was held at the Durand-Ruel gallery, featuring approximately ten versions of the Water Lilies. In February 1901, the same exhibition was held in New York City, where it was met with great success.
Monet enlarged the pond at his home in 1901 by purchasing a meadow on the opposite side of the Ru, the local watercourse. Then, he divided his time between work in nature and studio work.
The canvases depicting water lilies evolved alongside the modifications made to his garden. In addition, around the year 1905, Monet gradually modified his aesthetics by abandoning the body of water's perimeter, thereby altering perspective. In addition to altering the shape and size of his canvases, he shifted from rectangular to square and then to circular stretchers.
Monet spent a considerable amount of time reworking these canvases in an effort to achieve the desired effects and impressions. When he determined that they were ineffective, he did not hesitate to destroy them. The Durand-Ruel exhibition was repeatedly delayed until he was satisfied with the works. After numerous delays dating back to 1906, the Les Nymphéas exhibition finally opened on May 6, 1909. This exhibition, which featured 48 paintings dating from 1903 to 1908 and depicting a variety of landscapes and water lily scenes, was once again a success.
Monet died of lung cancer at the age of 86 on 5 December 1926 and is buried in the church cemetery of Giverny. Monet insisted that the event be simple, so only about fifty people were in attendance. At his funeral, Clemenceau replaced the black cloth draped over the coffin with a floral-patterned cloth, declaring, "No black for Monet!" At the time of his passing, Waterlilies was technically incomplete.
In 1966, Michel bequeathed the home, garden, and water lily pond of Claude Monet to the French Academy of Fine Arts (part of the Institut de France). Following restoration, the house and gardens were opened to the public through the Fondation Claude Monet in 1980. In addition to mementos and other objects from Monet's life, his collection of Japanese woodcut prints can be found in his home. Along with the Museum of Impressionism, the house and garden are major tourist attractions in Giverny, which attracts visitors from all over the world.
Wildenstein stated that Monet's body of work is "so extensive that its ambition and diversity challenge our understanding of its significance." His paintings created at Giverny and under the influence of cataracts have been said to establish a connection between Impressionism and twentieth-century art and, respectively, modern abstract art. His later works "significantly" influenced Objective abstraction. Following a formative experience at Giverny, Ellsworth Kelly paid tribute to Monet's works created there with Tableau Vert (1952). Monet was an influence on Bazille, Sisley, Renoir, and Pissarro; his work has been studied in relation to postmodernism. Monet has been called a "intermediary" between tradition and modernism; his work has been studied in relation to postmodernism. Monet is now the most well-known Impressionist artist; as a result of his contributions to the movement, he "had a tremendous impact on late 19th-century art."
After lengthy negotiations with the French government, 27 paintings on panel were displayed in the Musée de l'Orangerie in May 1927. Few people attended the exhibition because artists, art historians, critics, and the general public disregarded his later works. In the 1950s, Monet's later works were "rediscovered" by Abstract Expressionists and their contemporaries, such as Clement Greenberg, who used comparable canvases and disdained the crude and ideological art of the war. A 1952 essay by André Masson influenced a shift in perception and appreciation for the paintings that began to take shape in 1956–1957. The following year, a fire at the Museum of Modern Art would destroy the Water Lilies paintings they had acquired. Some museums were unable to accommodate the size of Monet's later paintings, causing them to alter the frames.
Monet's garden in Giverny, which had deteriorated for fifty years, was restored and opened to the public in 1978. London, the Parliament, Effects of Sun in the Fog (1904) was sold for $20,1 million in 2004. In 2006, the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society published a paper containing evidence that these were painted in situ at St. Thomas' Hospital over the Thames River.  In 1981, Ronald Pickvance observed that scholarly interest in Monet's works created after 1880 was increasing.
Falaises près de Dieppe (Cliffs Near Dieppe) has been stolen twice: once in 1998 (in which the museum's curator and two accomplices were convicted of the theft and sentenced to five years and two months in prison) and again in August 2007. It was found in June of 2008.
On November 14, 2001, for Claude Monet's 161st birthday, a Google Doodle was created depicting the Google logo in Monet's signature style. It was the first Google Doodle created for a birthday celebration.
On May 6, 2008, an anonymous telephone bidder paid a record $41.4 million for Monet's Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil, a painting from 1873 depicting a railway bridge over the Seine near Paris. The previous record price for his work was $36.5 million.  A few weeks later, Le bassin aux nymphéas (from the series of water lilies) was sold at Christie's 24 June 2008 auction in London for £40,921,250 ($80,451,178), nearly doubling the artist's previous record. This purchase represented one of the top twenty most expensive paintings sold at the time.
In October 2013, L'Eglise de Vétheuil and Le Bassin aux Nympheas became the subject of a legal case in New York against New York-based Vilma Bautista, a former aide to Imelda Marcos, the wife of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, after she sold Le Bassin aux Nympheas to a Swiss buyer for $32 million. The aforementioned Monet paintings, along with two others, were allegedly acquired by Imelda during her husband's presidency using national funds. The attorney for Bautista claimed that the assistant sold the painting for Imelda but was unable to give her the money. The Philippine government desires the painting's return. Le Bassin aux Nympheas, also referred to as Japanese Footbridge over the Water-Lily Pond at Giverny, is part of Monet's renowned Water Lilies series.
Jewish Monet collectors were looted by Nazis and their agents during the Nazi regime, both in Germany beginning in 1933 and in German-occupied territories until 1945. Several of the stolen works of art have been returned to their rightful owners, while others have been the subject of legal disputes. A Monet belonging to a Jewish retail magnate was discovered in the suitcase of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of one of Hitler's official art dealers of looted art, Hildebrand Gurlitt, in 2014.
Examples of Monet works stolen by the Nazis include:
The property La Seine à Asnières/Les Péniches sur la Seine, formerly owned by Mrs. Fernand Halphen, was seized on 10 July 1940 by agents of the German Embassy in Paris.
Le Repos Dans Le Jardin Argenteuil, formerly owned by Henry and Maria Newman, was stolen from a Berlin bank vault; Metropolitan Museum of Art reached a settlement.
Nymphéas was stolen from Paul Rosenberg in 1940 by the Nazis.
Au Parc Monceau was formerly owned by Ludwig Kainer, whose extensive collection was seized by the Nazis.
Haystacks at Giverny belonged to the French Jewish art dealer René Gimpel, who was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp.
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