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Monet and Impressionism

            Monet was one of the most outstanding figures in the impressionism movement. He was the leader of a group of French artists called the Impressionists, which included such painters as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Camille Pissarro. Monet often presented himself in many different guises throughout his life. He was a bohemian artist, the leader of the Impressionist movement, as well as politically and socially, and in his old age a recluse at Giverny (Lallemand)."His scenes shimmer, like memories. They are single, fleeting moments, reminders of life's beauty and transience, " John Berger about Monet (Chew). .
             Monet was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris, and he moved with his family to Le Havre on the Seine estuary in the 1840s. His father Adolphe joined a wholesale grocery business and he made enough profit to lead a comfortable life. Monet's mother died in 1857 and Monet spent much time with his aunt who encouraged his artistic inclinations, unlike his father. Monet spent most of his youth in Le Havre, drawing caricatures of the locals, a talent, which got him into trouble at school (Folkes). By age fifteen he was already receiving commission for his work. He then met Eugène Boudin in 1857 when he was sixteen. He took an interest in Monet's talents and invited him to paint in open air. Boudin became Monet's unofficial teacher for several years as well as his mentor. .
             Monet moved in Paris in 1859 where he met Camille Pissarro and Gustave Courbet. In 1861 to 1862 Monet performed his military service in Algeria with the Chasseurs d'Afrique (Shackelford). It, no doubt, encouraged his ambitions as a landscape painter. In the Salon, controlled by the Academy, landscape had its own place. Monet was determined to follow on the path he had set out under Boudin, but he knew the importance of drawing. He embarked on a course of study to learn to draw the human figure and he entered into the Académie Suisse.