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The Birth(and Death) of Impressionism – Part Two

The Birth(and Death) of Impressionism – Part Two

Pierre Auguste Renoir: vie et œuvres majeures

Author’s Note: If you missed Part One of the Impressionist story – IT’S HERE.

Renoir had been inspired by Claude Monet since the day they first met in 1862.With this renewed motivation, Renoir seemed to push himself to take more chances, work harder and never give up.

Renoir painted with Monet whenever he could and he loved to have Monet and his wife Camille pose for him, especially Camille.Over the course of a few years Renoir painted Camille no less than 15 times.In fact Renoir dropped by Monet’s home so often that a bed was always kept open for him.

Edouard Manet also showed up to paint with Monet. MANET had long been seen as the leader of the avant-garde but he had yet to experiment with the impressionist technique.

The turning point for Manet came because of the tremendous amount of press the first impressionist exhibition had generated.

This made it clear that these younger artists with their newer forms of expression were becoming the avant-garde. And MANET, the older man wanted to keep a pace with the forward movement of the impressionists.

MANET painted Monet not only in his studio boat, but in Monet’s garden.

One sunny afternoon he began to paint Camille and then Renoir showed up. their two paintings have exactly the same subject: Camille and Jean lying upon the grass in exactly the same location.

The Story goes that when Monet went o look at Renior’s painting, he said this boy just can’t paint Better tell him to pack it up.

This is something that was said absolutely as a joke because he recognized that the Renoir’s was the most devastatingly successful sketch. And indeed a sketch that makes Monet’s own work look slightly stayed.

While MANET was painting with Monet, his brother Eugene was vacationing on the Normandy coast.

Also on vacation in fake off were Berthe Morisot and Jean Monnet an amateur artist. The two spent days on end painting together.

In the spring of 1876 the Impressionists began organizing their second group exhibition. This time the group presented itself less as simply an association of independent artists and more as a movement.

The second exhibition had more works of art by each of the members who were thought to be central to the movement.

While only a few thousand would actually attend the show, newspapers Worldwide were quick to cover the story of these independent artists.

When the second impressionist exhibition closed in May of 1876 the group took solace in the fact that they did not lose money and were pleased the show had piqued the interest of a handful of new collectors.

But it was only a handful not enough to support the needy artists Pissarro Renoir and Monet.

In the fall of 1876 Claude Monet left Camille and their nine-year-old son to work in Mahjong on a series of paintings for his best patron Ernesto shidae a nest. He and his wife Elise were immensely wealthy. They not only had a chateau, but a private train to bring in their guests.

Ernest liked to spend money and he spent quite a bit of it on art and asked Monet to paint several large-scale works depicting scenes around his chateau.Monet set up a studio on the estate and moved in with Elise and her children.

Then, the dark clouds began to hover over this happy artistic scene.In the spring of 1877 Ernesto’s business went bankrupt and he lost everything. Including the Chateau.

Clearly, Monet was also in a difficult situation. He was broke and his creditors were out of patience. Monet and Camille began sharing a house with Elise and her six children hoping to save money by joining their families together.There were eleven people in this house.

To make matters even more difficult ,Camille was pregnant with her second child. She gave birth to a boy Michel in March 1878. But Camille seemed unable to recover after the delivery.

By the summer of 1879 she was alarmingly weak and in constant debilitating pain. Monet borrowed a thousand francs to pay for her doctors. But they were unable to help.Four days later Camille was dead at 32 years old.

Camille was buried in a simple plot in the corner of the Vettii graveyard.In the depths of his sorrow Monet stood for day after day in the brutal cold that came that winter and painted the Seine, churning with ice. While these paintings would soon spark new sales for the rest of the winter, Monet Elise and the eight children barely had enough to eat.

End of Part 2

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