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Claude Monet as a Modern Artist

             Claude Oscar Monet was born in Paris on November 14, 1840. The son of a successful tradesman, Monet grew up in the town of Le Havre located on the Normandy coast. He showed artistic talent as a teenager, drawing caricatures of local personalities, and by the age of fifteen he was receiving commission for his work. Monet's formal training began in 1859 at the Academie Suisse, a studio that provided models for aspiring artists to draw and paint, but gave little direct instruction. After serving in the French military in Algeria, Monet joined a Parisian studio run by Charles Gabriel Gleyre in 1862. Like the Academie Suisse, Gleyre's studio encouraged students to draw from models. In this setting, Monet met several artists who would become friends and fellow Impressionists. Among these were Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille. In 1865 Monet had his first works accepted by the Salon, where they received praise from critics and were purchased by influential buyers. Despite this, Monet still struggled with rejection from the public and the conservative Salon ("Monet," Encarta).
             In 1870 Monet married Camille Doncieux, the mother of his illegitimate son. To escape the Franco-Prussian War the couple went to London and then to Holland. They returned in 1872 and settled on the Seine River outside of Paris. Monet painted numerous views of this town, as well as several family studies. Frequently joined by Renoir and other friends from his student days, Monet painted every aspect of the outdoors. In 1874 Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley put together an exhibition which turned out to be a disaster. In an attempt to recover some of his financial losses, Monet made a sale of his paintings at the Hotel Drouot. This too was a complete failure ("Monet," Encarta).
             Camille died in 1882, and in 1883 Monet settled in Giverny where he remained until his death. During these years, the group of Impressionists began to disintegrate.

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