Claude Monet French, 1840-1926
Claude Monet was a French painter, founder of the impressionnist movement, his painting "Impression soleil levant"(1872) made art critic Louis Leroy invent the term "impressionnists".
Claude Monet is a pivotal figure in 19th century French painting. Thanks to his rule breaking approach to light, paintwork, "on the model" plein air painting, and his curiosity for foreign cultures and modern trends he managed to stay relevant and innovative over the course of his 60 years career. His freedom and open mindness which came to great personal sacrifices and financial difficulties, completely transformed the norms of art and painting, opening many new directions for generations of young artists.
Monet made painting relevant at a time when the invention of photography questionned the role of painting as a witness of history. He made his paintings show what the photography of his time couldn't: colors, lights, atmospheres, impressions, and what the critics of his time didn't deem worthy of representation: modernity, every day life, industrialisation, fog and simple grainstacks.