What you need to know about Claude Monet

What you need to know about Claude Monet
Monet would sit for hours on the benches here at the lily ponds his paintings made famous, studying the reflections on the water. (Karl Zimmermann)

Claude Monet, one of the world's foremost Impressionists, lived a long, colorful life, influenced by other artists, nature and, of course, his native France. Here's a look at key moments that helped shape his work.

You also can see what he saw at Giverny in an article that describes how to see his home and gardens without the crowds.


Born: Nov. 14, 1840, Paris

Moves: At age 5, to Normandy, France

Serves: In the military in 1861 and '62, in Algeria

Returns: To Normandy in 1862

Studies: In Paris later in 1862

Meets: Alfred Sisley and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among other artists, in 1862

Becomes a father: Son Jean is born Aug. 8, 1867

Attempts: Suicide in 1868

Marries: Camille Doncieux, his frequent model and mother of Jean, on June 28, 1870

Begins: A relationship with Alice Hoschedé in 1876

Uses: Money made from his paintings to pay for the care of Camille, whose health is in decline after the birth of their son Michel in 1878

Paints: Camille in her last days. She dies Sept. 5, 1879

Moves: In 1883 to Giverny in Normandy with Alice and her children and his two sons

Buys: A house in 1890 in Giverny


Marries: Alice in July 1892

Creates: A water lily garden in the 1890s in Giverny and begins to paint the flowers

Loses: Alice in 1911 and his son Jean in 1914

Works: On 12 huge water lily canvases from 1916-1926, despite vision problems

Dies: Of lung cancer Dec. 5, 1926

Sources:; Encyclopedia Britannica; "Monet" by Christoph Heinrich