Oscar-Claude Monet was born on the 14th of November 1840 in Paris. When Monet was 16 years old his mother died and he went to live with his aunt.
In 1861 he joined the army, leaving 2 years later to study art. He moved to Paris to study under Charles Gleyre, and whilst there he befriended other artists such as Renoir.
Monet had his first piece accepted for display in 1865, and in 1874 the first Impressionist exhibition was held, in which Monet took part.
Monet struggled with depression which was not helped when his wife and model, Camille, died at the age of 32. He painted a study of her body and the resultant piece expresses his intense sense of loss.
In 1883 Monet moved to Giverny, and many of his later works are of the garden at his house there. He married his second wife in 1892 and the two lived happily for almost 20 years before she died in 1911. Shortly afterwards Monet developed cataracts which severely affected his vision. He died on the 5th of December 1926 aged 86.
A humble man, Monet once wrote, "My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects." Most critics would disagree with these words. Monet had a huge influence on both contemporary and later artists.