A cool briny mist and the cadence of wavelets lapping against a small boat may be just the tonic needed for a jaded urbanite, but for Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926), who spent childhood days near the coast, painting marine scenery had a sense of familiarity as that with an old friend. Although probably best known for his water lilies and red poppies, as noted, “Monet is one of those rare artists who knew how to paint water … ” (Sutton D. Claude Monet: The Early Years. From British Collections in aid of The Police Dependants’ Trust. London, UK: Lefevre Gallery; 1969:12.) The range of Monet’s oeuvre was alone noteworthy, but he became an art phenom because he held fast to his vision of showing nature in a new way, awash in light. His hard-won status in the art world lies in part in his contribution to modernism, but his enduring audience appeal seems borne of his ability to create a mood.
Smith JM. The Sea at Le HavreClaude Monet . JAMA. 2015;313(9):878-879. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11611