Monet makes it onto Terence Austin`s top ten painters list
Madness not to include him
Why does Monet make it onto my Terence Austin`s 10 best painters list of all time? Why not? I would be crazy not to include him! He could easily be my all time favourite.
What I, Terence Austin as an artist, find appealing is Monet’s life was dedicated to finding new methods of expression. He broke with tradition and thought in terms of colours, light and shapes. He pushed paint around, he bossed it, manipulated and manned up when he needed to force it but he always possessed a touch of an angel when required to capture transient light.
He didn’t so much break tradition he smashed it! Claude Monet is considered by many, as one of the greatest painters who ever lived. He was a pivotal figure in the art movement known as Impressionism.
Capture the moment
This group of artists were revolutionary in their time because they were concerned with capturing light and natural forms in a quick, fleeting manner almost like a snapshot from a camera. This form of painting demanded impressionists to work outdoors frequently which was against the long-held studio production based mantra of the day. Many of their works were made on the spot They painted in the rain, baking sun, snow, mist and wind because they wanted to give the world something fresh and of the moment. They fought the shackled dogma and doctrines of classical painting. Monet and the Impressionists realised Classicism was long dead before the critics and public could grasp it and they launched a new epoch in art, probably the most explosive and exciting in history.
All this magnificent turbulence took a toll on Monet. He struggled with depression, poverty and illness throughout his life. And before he finally died in 1926 he had experienced triumph and poverty in equal measure.
Monet lived with great hardship. For instance, around the birth of their first son, Jean, in 1867. Monet was in dire financial straits, and his father was unwilling to help. Monet became so despondent over the situation that, in 1868, he attempted suicide by trying to drown himself in the River Seine.
Monet sometimes got frustrated with his work. According to some reports, he destroyed a number of paintings, estimates range as many as 500 works!
He outlived his two wives and made a very touching deathbed portrait of his first wife Camille which is astonishing for its bravery, love and spirit.
Monet gained financial and critical success during the late 1880s and 1890s and started a serial of water lily paintings for which he would become famous. In Giverny France, he loved to paint outdoors in the gardens that he helped create there. The water lilies found in the pond had a particular appeal for him, and he painted several series of them throughout the rest of his life.
To me, Claude Monet has been a lifelong inspiration. I still cannot stop admiring his works and his determination. For me, he was The Master of Light and colour and will always be right up there with the very best painters the world has ever produced.