Claude Monet is considered to be the founder of French Impressionist painting. He was born on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte, 9th arrondissement of Paris, and was raised on the Normandy coast in Le Havre (France) where his father sold ships’ provisions. When he was a teenager he got a local reputation as a caricaturist and landscape painter. Later he was introduced to painting ‘en plein air’ (outdoor painting), which made a significant influence on his career.
Monet went to Paris in 1862 to study painting. In his middle years together with his wife Camille he moved to the Giverny village, where he constructed a garden and created more than 250 works focused on water lilies.
The Japanese Footbridge
Ten years after moving to Giverny (France) in 1883, Claude Monet turned a small pond into an Asian-influenced water garden. He encircled the basin with flowers, trees, and bushes, and the next year filled it with water lilies. He added a Japanese-style wooden bridge in 1895, then a few years later started to paint the pond and its water lilies for the next quarter century.
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