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Claude Monet (1840-1926) was a renowned French painter and one of the founders of the Impressionist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists in the history of art.

Monet was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris, France. As a child, he developed a passion for drawing and spent much of his time sketching and exploring nature. Monet's artistic career began in Le Havre, where he studied the work of various artists and met Eugène Boudin, who encouraged him to paint en plein air (outdoors).

In the late 1850s, Monet moved to Paris to pursue his artistic ambitions. There, he studied at the Académie Suisse and met other artists who would later become his friends and colleagues, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, and Camille Pissarro. Monet's early works were heavily influenced by the Realist and Barbizon schools, but he later developed his distinctive style characterized by loose brushwork, vibrant colors, and a focus on capturing the effects of light and atmosphere.

The term "Impressionism" originated from Monet's painting "Impression, Sunrise" (1872), which was exhibited in 1874 along with other works by a group of artists who would later be known as the Impressionists. The name was derived from a critic's derogatory comment on Monet's painting, but it was embraced by the artists and became associated with the movement.

Monet's subjects often included landscapes, seascapes, gardens, and water lilies. He was particularly fascinated by the play of light and color on natural elements, and he sought to capture the fleeting and ever-changing nature of his subjects. Monet would often paint the same scene repeatedly, at different times of day and under various weather conditions, to observe and document these subtle variations.

In his later years, Monet focused on his famous series of water lilies, painting large-scale canvases that showcased his mastery of light, color, and reflection. He created a tranquil sanctuary in his garden at Giverny, where he cultivated water lilies and built a Japanese-style bridge, which became iconic subjects in his paintings.

Claude Monet's innovative approach to painting and his dedication to capturing the essence of nature had a profound influence on the development of modern art. His works continue to be celebrated and admired worldwide, and they can be found in major art museums and collections across the globe.