"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when itís simply necessary to love."
Claude Monet began his career sketching caricatures of his classmates, eventually being paid small sums for his drawings. After a brief stint serving in the prestigious 1st Regiment of African Light Cavalry, he returned to Paris and studied painting.
Monet was at odds with academic realism. While refined surfaces and exquisite detail were preferred, Monet used thick amounts of paint on his brush to produce intense texture. His style was dismissed as sloppy, uneducated, or worse. One such critic labeled his style as ěImpressionist,î which was meant to be deprecatory but became the name for a movement under which a collection of artists gathered, including Pissaro, Renoir, Whistler and Cassatt.
By 1883 Monet had begun to receive critical acclaim, which improved his financial standing and allowed him to move to the French countryside in Giverny. In 1892, he began his series paintings depicting the same scene at different times of day, including the Rouen Cathedral, haystacks in the field, and his garden and pond in Giverny. Monet continued to paint until his death at 86.