Claude Monet (November 14, 1840 – December 5, 1926) was a French painter and originator of impressionist painting. The term “Impressionism” stems from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant. His early works of seascapes, landscapes, and portraits didn’t attract much attention, but he eventually became successful. By the late 20th century, he was one of the world’s most famous painters. He was so devoted to his method of painting the same scene multiple times to capture changes in light and the seasons that he spent the final 20 years of his life focused on paintings of water lilies in his garden.

Below we list some words of wisdom from Claude Monet.

“The light constantly changes, and that alters the atmosphere and beauty of things every minute.”

“To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.”

“These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession.”

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”

“It is a tragedy that we live in a world where physical courage is so common, and moral courage is so rare.”

“I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that's the end. They are finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible.”

“Everything changes, even stone.”

“Listening only to my instincts, I discovered superb things.”

“The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.”

“I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint.”

“My only desire is an intimate infusion with nature, and the only fate I wish is to have worked and lived in harmony with her laws.”

“My eyes were finally opened and I understood nature. I learned at the same time to love it.”

“Nature won't be summoned to order and won't be kept waiting. It must be caught, well caught.”

“My work is always better when I am alone and follow my own impressions.”

“It's the hardest thing to be alone in being satisfied with what one's done.”

“It was at home I learned the little I know. Schools always appeared to me like a prison, and never could I make up my mind to stay there, not even for four hours a day, when the sunshine was inviting, the sea smooth, and when it was joy to run about the cliffs in the free air, or to paddle in the water.”

“I haven't many years left ahead of me and I must devote all my time to painting, in the hope of achieving something worthwhile in the end, something if possible that will satisfy me.”

“Colors pursue me like a constant worry. They even worry me in my sleep.”

“What can be said about a man who is interested in nothing but his painting? It's a pity if a man can only interest himself in one thing. But I can't do any thing else. I have only one interest.”

“Think of me getting up before 6, I'm at work by 7 and I continue until 6.30 in the evening, standing up all the time, nine canvases. It's murderous.”

“What is it that's taken hold of me, for me to carry on like this in relentless pursuit of something beyond my powers?”

“I have once more taken up things that can't be done: water with grasses weaving on the bottom. But I'm always tackling that sort of thing!”

“I insist upon 'doing it alone'... I have always worked better alone and from my own impressions.”

“As for myself, I met with as much success as I ever could have wanted. In other words, I was enthusiastically run-down by every critic of the period.”

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

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