9 Brilliant Quotes by Claude Monet on His Birthday

His radical style of painting cemented his reputation in art history.

As one of the founders of Impressionism and one of the most influential art movements in history, Claude Monet’s status as an all-time greats is unchallenged. In fact, the name “Impressionism” was based on Monet’s painting Impression, soleil levant (1874), which features the sun rising over water in Le Havre, France.

Several of his best-known works were based on the property he purchased in nearby Giverny, including over 250 renditions of water lilies, and Japanese-style bridges which he installed in his garden as part of a devotion to landscaping.

The radical style of painting the French artist championed, which was based on capturing light and the changing of the seasons rather than accurately replicating scenes from classicism, caused a stir at the time, but also cemented his reputation as one of art history’s innovators.

In honor of the Impressionist master’s 176th birthday, we selected 10 insightful quotes from the revolutionary artist.

Claude Monet. Impression, soleil levant. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Claude Monet. Impression, soleil levant (1874). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

1. On his famous Orangerie des Tuileries:
“These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me. It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.”

2. On color:
“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

3. On nature:
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

4. On self-doubt:
“My life has been nothing but a failure, and all that’s left for me to do is to destroy my paintings before I disappear.”

5. On ambition:
“I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.”

6. On his exile:
“England did not care for our paintings.”

7. On his creative cohort, which included Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille:
“Nothing could be more interesting than these causeries, with their perpetual clash of opinions. They kept our wits sharpened…”

8. On landscaping:
“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”

9. On his studio:
“I never had one and personally I don’t understand why would want to shut themselves up in some room. Maybe for drawing, sure, but not for painting.”

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