Today, we are continuing our art-unit study "Introducing The World's Greatest Artists 🎨 Series." Among the greatest of the Impressionists, French painter Oscar-Claude Monet (born November 14, 1840 -1926) was the artist whose painting Impression: Sunrise (1872) gave the Impressionist art movement its name. Monet brought painting out-of-doors so that artists could record their impressions directly from nature. While painting outside, Monet attempted to recreate the effect of light and shifting color, the technique which proved very influential to other artists. Since colors change according to the light (a gray day looks very different compared to the bright sunlight and a cool light of a dawn is very different than a warm light of the evening), Monet wanted to record that fleeting impression of a particular moment. The sparkle of light, dancing colors, the interplay between sun and shadow were the impressions that Monet wanted to perpetuate.
“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.” – Claude Monet, 1890.
We started by reading 13 Artists Children Should Know book (buy here). Heavily illustrated and featuring the world's greatest painters, the book offers an excellent introduction to famous artists and their works. Artists are arranged chronologically, accompanied by a timeline, which offers helpful historical context. Each artist’s entry includes a concise biography, beautiful reproductions of major works, and lively simple texts that appeal directly to young readers.
Thereafter, to get more familiar with Impressionism, Adrian (40 months) put together Claude Monet Water Lillies puzzle 24pc (buy here). The box says 3 yrs+ however, pieces are very similar looking, which might prove challenging for smaller children. Without referring to the picture on the box, it took Adrian a little less than ten minutes to finish the puzzle. Only a few months ago, he had to recruit Julia's help to assemble similar puzzles: The Starry Night and Sunflowers.
"Hop on a horse when lunch is done, and take a ride in the afternoon sun."
To introduce Claude Monet, Picnic with Monet book (buy here) is simple and boasts with colorful full-page reproductions, accompanied by a simple four-line playful rhyming text. This board book is a fun way to introduce fine art to smaller children. Adrian has been enjoying this book since he was one year old. What child would not want to go on an enchanted picnic in a country-side, or see a steam train at a train station: "All aboard! clickety-clack, out of the station and down the track."
To learn more about Claude Monet's life, Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists is a wonderful series to introduce fine art and famous artists to a child. With primary sources, maps, timelines, photos and illustrations, book's engaging content helps children learn about notable artists of the past. The author uses cartoon-like illustrations and jokes to deliver complicated messages to a younger audience, and he does a great job! Claude Monet, Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists book (buy here) has full-color reproductions of actual paintings and provides an entertaining and humorous detailed introduction to Claude Monet's artistic career.
Adrian is fascinated with trains, so when I asked him what would he like to paint, he chose the train, of course. "All aboard! clickety-clack, out of the station and down the track" (buy the book here.) Adrian painted the train to resemble the one on Monet's Arrival to the Normandy Train, (1877) painting using watercolor paints (buy here).
Claude Monte is most famous for capturing the transient effect of light on the particular subject-matter, often resulting in paintings that appear shimmer with light and color. He even created a series of studies of the same subject under different light conditions like Poplars, Haystacks, Water Lilies, etc.
Monet wanted to see how sunlight changes the look of something at different times of the day or different seasons of the year, like with a Haystacks or Water Lilies series.
Monet painted several pictures of the cathedral in Rouen at various times of the day. The cathedral looks a different color each time. The sharp contours and hard surface of the stone are broken up into colored dots of light.
We are also using Monet Paintings: 24 Art Cards (buy here), which I cut out and laminated for durability. These reproductions of his best paintings include The Artist's Garden at Giverny; The Water Lily Pond; Bathers at La Grenouillère; Venice at Dusk; Sailboats at Argenteuil; Jerusalem Artichokes; Still Life with Flowers and Fruit; The Hay Ricks, Late Summer, Giverny; and several other marvelous studies. We are using these cards for simple matching; the cards are also ideal for creating a miniature art gallery, or for sorting paintings into still life, portrait, and landscape categories.
In Poppy Field Near Argenteuil (1873) painting, Monet used ❤️️red and 💚 green complementary colors to create an exceptionally radiant picture. The red seems even brighter when surrounded by green; doesn't it?
See here "Art Project 🎨 inspired by Claude Monet's Poppy Field Near Argenteuil, 1873."
See here "🎂Happy Birthday Claude Monet•🎨Impressionism Inspired 🌸Irises in Monet's Garden."
For more on The World's Greatest Artists 🎨 Series, read here a post about Vincent van Gogh.
p.s. As a bilingual mother, I also try to introduce lessons in my native language. Дети очень любят Всемирную Картинную Галерею Тётушки Совы. Это серия "Развивающие мультфильмы Совы – художник Клод Моне."