The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on MONET


Monet is the quintessential Impressionist artist. His paintings sell for millions of dollars today. He is one of the most beloved artists in history and enjoyed a long and productive life, spanning almost 90 years. You will not find many people who do not like his paintings. Maybe because most of them were painted in plein air or open air, the outdoors, and not confined to dark studios, a new characteristic adopted by  some artists as of the 1870s. This new way of painting was facilitated  by the easiness of transportation provided by the steam vapor trains, the more easily to carry easels and the new paints bought in the recently-fabricated screw-top collapsible tubes.

These points I listed below summarize the life and work of one of the greatest artists the Western Culture has ever produced. You can read and possibly quote from them to sound more knowleageble and sophisticated at the next dinner party you attended, if, despite loving Monet’s ouvre like most people, you don’t know much about him.

1, He was born as Claude Oscar Monet on 14 November 1840 in Paris, but spent most of his childhood on the northern coast of France, Le Havre, where his family had moved to in his early infancy.

2. He was utterly bored in the traditional school and spent most of the time drawing caricatures of his teachers and other well-known people in the town. His caricatures became very popular and he started selling them at local store, being able to earn a living very early in life.

3. He happened to meet a plein air landscape painter, Boudin, who practically became his coach and mentor, developing in Monet the taste for painting seascapes and landscapes, observing the fleeting reflections of the sunlight in the sea water, trees and leaves. After his apprenticeship with Boudin, it was hard for Monet to be happy painting or copying famous works of art as a trainee confined in the crowded rooms of museums and art galleries. His painting was all about vibrant colors, vivid scenes, ordinary people often seen at a distance, the effects of light at different times of day and in different seasons upon the same objects. An obsession for water and its innumerable ways of being represented on canvas. Monet wanted to paint contemporary life the way it appeared to him.

Beach at Honfleur by Monet, Claude. 1864

Beach at Honfleur by Monet, Claude. 1864

4. Monet was sent by his parents to the Acadeémie Suisse in Paris, whose flexibility and respect for the individual idissioncrasies of the students resonated with Monet’s personality. Soon afterwards he was called up for military service, though,  and served with the armies in Algeria. He claims that the exposure to the light and motifs in Africa had a great influence on his style of painting. He did not stay long in the army however. Family influence and health problems allowed him to be discharged after two years.

5. Back to school in Paris, he started as an apprentice in the studio of Charles Gleyre in 1862, where he was lucky to meet what was to compose the core of the impressionist group of painters in the future: Renoir, Sisley and Bazille. They became inseparable friends, spending a lot of time painting together outside of Paris in the forest of Fontainebleau.

6. It was very difficult for this wave of new painters to have their works accepted by the conservative official artistic exhibition in Paris, the Salón,  held ever year at the Académie des Beux-Ar, which attracted thousands of visitors. The Salón favored more traditional works of art, with perfect finishes, depicting usually historical, mythological or religious subjects. Those paintings, done in dark colors, replicated the techniques known since the Renaisssance and covered the walls from ceiling to floor.

Dejeuner sur l'Herbe, Chailly by Monet, Claude. 1865

Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, Chailly by Monet, Claude. 1865

7.  Despite having a few works accepted at the Salón, such as the Woman in the Green Dress, inspired by the woman he loved and lived with at the time, Camille Doncieux, who posed for it, Monet and his friends had most of his works refused by the Salón, which led them eventually to create their own exhibitions.

Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress) by Monet, Claude. 1866

Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress) by Monet, Claude. 1866

8. To escape the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, Monet, already married to Camille and with a son, moved to London, living there for some time and returning via Holland.  Many of his works were painted in these countries,  where he was heavily influenced by the contact with the works of Turner and Constable.

9. In 1874, the group of new artists decided to produce the first of their own parallel exhibitions, which, ridiculed  at the beginning and  attracting very few attendants, was ferociously attacked by the art critics. A famous art critic involuntarily named the movement IMPRESSIONISM, when making derisive comments about a Monet’s painting titled Impression: Sunrise, which showed a simple blotch of red color representing the sun hovering over the sea and casting its reflections on the water for the delight of a few early fishermen in a couple of boats. The artists of the movement did not not take the critic seriously and started using the name for their style, as they had enjoyed what was meant as an insult. The exhibition grew every year, being repeated 8 times over the course of the next 12 years. As times moved on, the eyes and minds of the viewers, influenced by the increasing praise of art critics, began to appreciate and accept the new artistic movement.

Impression, soleil levant (Impression: Sunrise) by Monet, Claude. 1872

Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) by Monet, Claude. 1872

10. Around 1990 Monet started developing his famous series paintings: featuring haystacks, poplars, the cathedral of Rouen and the famous water lilies, which he showed in a number of sequential cavasses, many of them painted one after the other, with the artist moving from one canvas to the next, arranged in a row in the fields, so that he could capture the slight variations of the effects of the changing light on the subjects, as the sun moved in the sky. He would work on them in a sequence of consecutive days.

11. A heavy smoker, Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 in his house in  Giverny in 1926,  where he had created a wonderful garden and a pond in the grounds of the property, which he began to use as the main topics of his latest paintings. He lived a full, long, productive and recognized artistic life. His house and garden in Giverny are famous and popular turistic sites in today’s France.

For those of you who are English Teachers and love Monet and art in general, we offer a wonderful collection of didactic eBooks for the students to practice vocabulary, speaking and writing, based on the works of famous painters: TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART. The series is comprised of 5 books so far, and features works by Matisse, Picasso, Caravaggio, Monet and Norman Rockwell. For further information on how to download the materials, please click here: http://wp.me/p4gEKJ-1lS

Check this brief video on the material on TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART: MONET:

Hope you enjoy the ebooks. Give us your feedback by rating them on Amazon.com or by writing some feedback in the comments section of this blog post.

Au revoir.

Jorge Sette.

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Teaching English with Art: Norman Rockwell


Teaching English with Art! This ebook is a wonderful supplement to any coursebook or extra materials your students may already be using in the English class. It contains 30 speaking and writing activities for classroom use, based on some of the most striking works by one of the most loved American artists of the XX century, NORMAN ROCKWELL, famous for his illustrations. The objective of the ebook is to expose the students to art while teaching English, fulfilling therefore one of the tenets of effective language acquisition: providing a realistic context for the language to be learned and practiced as a means to an end. Your students will love to exercise their English discussing the works of Rockwell This is a proven way to make language acquisition fun and effective by creating in the classroom an atmosphere of interest and motivation. Each activity is clearly correlated to the COMMON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK OF REFERENCE (CEFR), and the level is stated next to it.

Click on the image below to download the ebook:

Teaching English with Art: Norman Rockwell

Click to the image above to download the eBook.

Take a moment to watch the video clip of TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART: NORMAN ROCKWELL

Au revoir

Jorge Sette

Monet’s Fun Quiz: How much do You Know about the Artist?


Take que quiz and find out how much you know about Claude Monet:

 

Poppies at Argenteuil. 1873

Poppies at Argenteuil. 1873

 

 

1.  Where was he born? a. Le Havre, b. Naples, c. Paris

 

2. What was he like? a. Quick-tempered, b. Calm and peaceful, c. Cold and calculating

 

3. What kind of painting style is he famous for? a. Romantic, b. Impressionist, c. Baroque

 

4. What was the most original trait of his paintings? a. Bright colors and open-air painting; b. Idealization of reality and the use of myths c. Emulation of the classical models

 

5. How did he die? a. Of lung cancer, b. Killed in a battle, c. Of old age

 

6. Was he famous while he was alive? a. Not at all, b. Pretty much c. In the second half of his life

 

7. Was he ever married? a. Twice, b. Never c. Once

 

8. What didn’t he paint? a. Landscapes, b. Boats and water, c. Mythology

 

9. What’s the historical context he lived in? a. The Counter-Reformation, b. The Second Industrial Revolution, c. The Renaissance

 

10. Which one is not a Monet painting: a. Puppies in Argenteuil b. Blue Nude IV, c. Saint Lazare Station

 

Caravaggio's quiz

 

 

Claude Monet

Claude Monet

 

You may wish to take a look at our video clip: TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART: MONET (the eBook)

 

 

For further info on the titles of the series TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART, click here:

http://wp.me/p4gEKJ-1lS

 

Teaching English with Art

Teaching English with Art

Au revoir

Jorge Sette

 

 

 

Teaching English with Art: Monet


Teaching English with Art! This eBook is a wonderful supplement to any coursebook or extra materials your students may already be using in the English class. It contains 30 speaking and writing activities for classroom use, based on some of the most striking works by French artist CLAUDE MONET, the founder of Impressionismo. The objective of the eBook is to expose the students to high art while teaching English, fulfilling therefore one of the tenets of effective language acquisition: providing a realistic context for the language to be learned and practiced as a means to an end. Your students will love to exercise their English discussing the works of Monet. This is a proven way to make language acquisition fun and effective by creating in the classroom an atmosphere of interest and motivation. Each activity is clearly correlated to the COMMON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK OF REFERENCE (CEFR), and the level is stated next to it.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK.

 

Teaching English with Art: Monet.

Click on the image to download the eBook.

Take a moment to watch the video clip of TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART: MONET

Au revoir

Jorge Sette

 

Caravaggio, Oscar Wilde, Salome…and the head of the Baptist!


One of the most famous versions of the myth of Salome is the play written by Oscar Wilde, originally in French, in 1891. In this version, Salome is the daughter of Herodias, wife of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea.

The prophet John the Baptist has been imprisoned by Herod for criticizing his marriage to Herodias, who had previously been Herod’s brother’s wife. John the Baptist claims the consortium is incestuous.

In Wilde’s play, the action takes place during a party thrown by Herod probably in celebration of his own birthday.

Caravaggio's Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, 1607.

Caravaggio’s Salome and the Head of John the Baptist, 1607

During the party, Salome tries to seduce the prisoner John the Baptist but does not succeed in her intent. A number of signs indicate that tragedy looms ahead: the moon looks strange and ominous; a soldier/servant has just committed suicide; Herod, coming out of the party, slips in a pool of the blood shed by the victim, and hears a sound like the one made by the flapping of giant wings…These are all bad omens. What is going to happen?

Soon afterwards, Herod, drunk on wine, and somewhat infatuated by his stepdaughter Salome, begs her to dance for him. Herodias, her mother, does not think this is appropriate and tries to forbid her, but Salome acquiesces when Herod promises she can have anything she wishes in return.

Salome then dances the famous “dance of the seven veils”, which mesmerizes Herod. Time has come now for her to ask for her reward: she wants it to come on a silver platter. Herod laughs: “sure, she can have it on a silver platter…but what is it that she wants?” Salome demands: “The head of the Baptist”, catching Herod completely off guard. He is horrified by the request.

Her demand is fully appreciated by Herodias, who hates the prophet. She insists that her daughter should get what she wants. Herod tries to make Salome change her mind by offering her lots of alternative gifts, such as jewels and beautiful birds, but she is adamant: all she wants is the prophet’s head on a silver platter.

Her wish is granted: John the Baptist is decapitated. Caravaggio painted in gory detail a gruesome scene based on the myth, almost 300 years before the play was written.

Note: the text above is from the ebook: TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART: CARAVAGGIO. For further info on the series please CLICK HERE:  http://wp.me/p4gEKJ-1lS

Check out the video:

Au revoir

Jorge Sette

English Teaching Should Go Beyond Language!


Teaching English with Art: the ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING materials you have been waiting for:

Click on the image below to know more about TEACHING ENGLISH WTH ART and buy your eBooks:

Teaching English with Art

Teaching English with Art

Teaching English with Art: Picasso


Click on the image below to download your book FROM AMAZON.COM

You will never have bored students again.

Teaching English with Art: Picasso

Teaching English with Art: Picasso

 

For other eBooks of the series TEACHING ENGLISH WITH ART, please click here:

http://wp.me/p4gEKJ-1lS

Check out the video clip  on our eBooks below:

Au revoir

Jorge Sette

Storytelling with Casper David Friedrich, the famous Romantic painter


Storytelling with Casper David Friedrich, the famous Romantic painter

Click on the picture to access the SlideShare presentation. You might want to check out our post on the mythological structure of storytelling as well: http://wp.me/p4gEKJ-F2