Who was Claude Monet?

Ah, Claude Monet – a name you’ll have heard mentioned once or twice before, and whose work you’ll have seen dotted around famous art galleries (and the internet). But who was Monet and how did his masterpieces influence the artwork we see today? And what techniques did Monet use? Discover all of this and more in this handy guide, just read on to become an expert on this superb artist!

When was Claude Monet born?

Claude Monet (also known as Oscar-Claude Monet) was born on the 14th of November 1840. He was born in the ninth arrondissement, on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte. Then shortly after (on the 20th of May), Monet was baptised at the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette.

And where was Claude Monet born?

Black and white portrait image of Claude Monet

Monet was born in Paris, France but grew up in Le Havre, moving there when he was five years old. Monet’s childhood really inspired his art, growing up around the seaside, and taking an interest in the sea and nature as a whole!

When did Monet die?

On the 5th of December 1926, Claude Monet passed away in Giverny, France. He lived until the ripe age of 86 but battled lung cancer. He’s now buried in the Giverny church cemetery, and his grave is always surrounded by beautiful flowers, to reflect his own garden (and his loving interest in nature).

So, who was Claude Monet?

Claude Monet art exhibition

Claude Monet was an inspirational artist, famous for his incredible artwork, and most importantly, for founding French Impressionism. He was the main leader of this amazing art movement and it really changed the way art was seen at that time.

Monet produced encapsulating pieces, and it was his paintings that he was known for. He’d create them in the open air quite frequently because he wanted to capture the beauty of natural light. His artwork was so original and colourful that it took on abstract qualities, which then inspired later abstract painters. In fact, he played with colour and form to bring a new edge to art that hadn’t been seen before.

What paint did Monet use?

Monet painted primarily with oil paint, but he enjoyed pastels too, and always carried a sketchbook around. One thing Monet was known for was his use of paint, as he limited himself to only ever using nine colours from the whole colour palette

The nine paint colours Monet used were:

  • Cadmium yellow
  • Chrome yellow
  • Vermilion
  • Black ivory
  • French ultramarine
  • Madder red
  • Lead white
  • White
  • Emerald green.

Who was Monet influenced by?

Like most famous artists, Monet’s amazing art ideas weren’t just plucked out of thin air, it was inspired by other notable painters and artists. These are just some of the top artists Monet was influenced by:

  • Édouard Manet
  • Katsushika Hokusai
  • Eugène Boudin
  • Johan Barthold Jongkind.

Monet was also greatly fascinated with nature; art for him was naturistic at all times, and all of his paintings were influenced by nature, he weaved his love for it into his designs (as well as from the artists he loved). He said himself, "The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration."

How many paintings did Monet paint?

Landscape painting of field by Claude Monet

Claude Monet loved to paint, draw and just illustrate whatever he could, creating around 2,500 art pieces during his time. This is just a rough estimate, since many artwork prints of his have probably been lost along the way, and Monet himself was known to destroy work he produced from time to time! So, the exact figure can’t be verified, but his ability to create varied and beautiful paintings is clear.

And here’s a list of just some of Claude Monet’s most famous paintings:

  • Impression, Sunrise.
  • Bridge over a Pond of Water Lillies.
  • Rouen Cathedral, Façade (Sunset).
  • Nymphéas (Waterlilies).
  • The Houses of Parliament, Sunset.

Where can you see Monet’s masterpieces?

You can find Monet’s masterpieces all around Paris, but to see several of his most notable works, head to The Musée d’Orsay – a former railway station filled with art, including some of his most famous pieces. It’s here you can see Monet’s most iconic painting, The Water Lily Pond (1899), and other pieces like Women in the Garden (1866). If you want to see his paintings up close, this really is one of the best places to do so!

Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris is another prime place to see Monet’s beautiful artwork, and offers the largest collection of Claude Monet paintings in the world, with around 100 artwork pieces of his taking pride of place on the walls. These pieces include the Cathédrale de Rouen series (1892-94) and Impression, Soleil Levant (1872), plus so much more!

How much is a Monet painting worth today?

Green and red poppy field painting by Claude Monet

Unsurprisingly, Monet’s artwork is heavily sought after, with people all over the world admiring his work. So as you can imagine, his paintings are worth quite a bit, with his masterpieces being auctioned several times. So, how much is a Monet painting worth today?

It’s said that Monet’s paintings can range from as little as $5 to as much as $110,747. The highest recorded price (since 1998) for Monet’s masterpiece is Meules, which was bought for $110.7 million! This impressive piece was sold back in 2019, at Sotheby’s New York. So clearly, Monet’s art – and the high prices people are willing to pay – lives on, even though he’s no longer around.

Uncover other incredible artists

Tall Boy Prints floral artwork hanging on mauve wall above red sofa

Claude Monet is a brilliant artist, and now one you know all about. If you want to find out more about other artists who paved the way for the modern masterpieces we see today, then visit our blog – it features loads of interesting articles on art-related topics!