Artist’s Garden Series: Charles Monet

July 4, 2021

Happy Sunday Friends!

Let’s learn about the beginning of Impressionism and Charles Monet.

In the city that I grew up in, The Nelson Atkins Art Gallery had one of the three panels of ‘Water Lillies”, his last pieces before he died. He spent the last of his days after his beloved wife passed away working and reworking on those paintings.

For Monet, his garden became a place to play and learn. And continued to be that until he died. Now it is a place for other artists to continue to play and learn. You can walk in his shoes and create something beautiful inspired by a great artist.

“When we talk about art and gardening in one breath, it is largely due to Monet, who put gardens at the center of his work. White parks, potagers, rose and suburban gardens becamse favorite subjects for any impressionist painters, it was Claude Monet’s fascination with garden – making that has left us with the legacy of his own garden at Giverny” – Exerpt from “The Artist’s Garden: The Secret Spaces that inspired great art by Jackie Bennett

I will discuss this further in the book I am working on, but for now, here is an excerpt about the beginning of impressionism.

Impressionism began in the late 19th century in Europe by a group of artists that rejected the conventional art of their time. Most artists began their path to a professional art career through art schools called, academies. These schools had a very strict curriculum in which things were taught in a certain order and classical styling. Before oil paintings were even to begin, many drawings were required and the paintings were all done in a very smooth and precise styling. Paintings and teachings were all done inside in the studio.

During this time, there were several French artists that enjoyed painting outdoors and trying a new way of painting. They did quicker brushstrokes painting in a realistic way. Painting that connected to the way of life and how it felt at the time.

The term Impressionist comes from a painting done by Claude Monet in 1872, “Impression, Sunrise”. After showing it at an exhibition, the art critic Louis Leroy stated that all the paintings were just Impressions. Despite the attempt at degrading the works, Monet liked the word and the term stuck.

More coming soon!