Claude Monet


Birth of Claude Monet in Paris, November 14.

About 1845

The family moves to Le Havre in Normandy.

About 1857

Monet meets the landscape painter Eugène Boudin who encourages him to do outdoor painting.


Attends the Académie suisse in Paris, where he makes friends with Camille Pissarro.


Meets the Dutch painter Johann Barthold Jongkind, who would be a major influence on him.


Studies at the studio of the academic painter Charles Gleyre, in Paris. He meets Frédéric Bazille, Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They do outdoor painting together.


Monet makes his debut at the Salon de Paris with two seascapes. He shows there again in 1866 and 1868.


Is refused for the first time for the Salon of 1867. He would again be refused in 1869 and 1870.


Takes refuge in London during the Franco-Prussian War where he discovers Constable and Turner.


Moves to Argenteuil, where Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Édouard Manet and Gustave Caillebote come one after the other to paint with him.


With his friends, he forms a société anonyme (a corporation) of artists, painters, sculptors and engravers, and organizes an exhibition of the works refused by the official Salon.


The first exhibition of the société anonyme is held from April 15 to May 15. Monet presents five canvases, including Impression, soleil levant (1873). He exhibits with the Impressionists again in 1876, 1877, 1879 and 1882.


Because of dissension within the group, Monet distances himself from it, and refuses to take part in the fifth Impressionist exhibition. For the first time since 1870, he takes part in the Salon.


He paints on the coasts of Normandy, Brittany and the Mediterranean, as well as in Holland.


Moves to Giverny and purchases the house in 1889.


In Paris, the Petit gallery devotes an important retrospective to him, which receives the unanimous praise of the public and the critics. A rather late success: Monet is 49 years old. In the autumn, he begins the Haystacks series. He exhibits fifteen paintings from this series at the Durand-Ruel gallery in 1891.


He paints the Poplars series, which he exhibits in February 1892 at the Durand-Ruel gallery.


He paints the Rouen Cathedral. He exhibits a series of twenty Cathédrales at the Durand-Ruel gallery in May 1895.


He begins the first series of his water garden with the Japanese bridge; he exhibits this series in November 1900 at the Durand-Ruel gallery.


He makes three trips to London. He exhibits Views of the Thames in London at the Durand-Ruel gallery in 1904.


During the summer, he begins the second series of the water garden, which he continues until 1908. He exhibits forty-eight water landscapes in 1909 at the Durand-Ruel gallery.


He paints in Venice. The paintings are exhibited in 1912 at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery.


Monet is diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. His increasing vision problems slow down his artistic production.


He announces his intention to give a monumental work to the French government.


His Water Lilies, large decorative panels, are donated to the government for exhibition at the Orangerie of the Tuileries, close to the Louvre.


The cataract in his right eye requires three operations. He only has a few finishing touches to do on his Water Lilies.


Monet dies at Giverny on December 6, at the age of 86.


May 16, official opening of the Water Lilies cycle at the Orangerie.


At Giverny, the Claude Monet museum, his house and his gardens are opened to the public.

Text and research: Claude Lacroix

Portrait: Claude Monet by Benque, © Bibliothèque Nationale de France