Born in Paris, Claude Monet (1840-1926) grew up on the Normandy coast
in the busy port city of Le Havre. The area was prosperous and the family
was well off. The father apparently had plans for Claude to join him in his
grocery business, which catered to the large maritime business in Le Havre,
but Claude had other plans. Even as a boy, he had been noted for his ability
at caricature and had garnered some degree of fame in Le Havre. Now, with
or without his father's approval (translated as financial support), Monet
was determined to study art in Paris. He did, but it was rocky going. He was
often short of funds, and when appeals to friends and creditors were unavailing,
he would return to Le Havre and live with his family until good fortune reappeared.
Moreover, he now had the responsibility of a mistress (later, wife) and child,
but since his family did not approve of this liaison, he usually left Camille
to fend for herself and their son Jean as best she could. Fortunately, Monet's
friends were compassionate and generous.
Southgate MT. Sunrise (Marine). JAMA. 2004;291(21):2523. doi:10.1001/jama.291.21.2523
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