12 best paintings by Claude Monet

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

A connoisseur of wildlife, the famous creator of the new, incredibly a popular trend in painting – Impressionism – Claude Monet today is considered by critics a symbol of their era. Who could to think that a little cartoonist will have a strong future influencing artists around the world, creating a galaxy of superb paintings with a unique, incredibly vibrant color scheme, because which at the time of the author’s obscurity, there were rumors about his insanity. To your attention some of the best paintings of the great master – the most famous creations of the brush of the French impressionist.

In the footsteps of the great impressionist: top 12 French masterpieces genius Claude Monet

Nomination a place Composition rating
Review of the best paintings by Claude Monet 1 San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk , 1908-1912 годы 5.0
2 “Lady in a green dress” (Камилла), 1866 год 4.9
3 “Walk. Lady with an umbrella” , 1875 год 4.9
4 Series “Haystacks”, 1890-1891 4.8
5 Series “Rouen Cathedral”, 1892-1893 4.7
6 Series “Water Lilies”, 1896-1926 4.7
7 Series “Station Saint-Lazare”, 1872-1877 4.6
8 “Ladies in the garden” , 1866 год 4.5
9 “Impression. The rising sun.” , 1872 год 4.5
10 “Breakfast on the grass” , 1866 год 4.5
11 “Parliament building at sunset” , 1900-1901 годы 4.5
12 “Waterloo Bridge in Cloudy Weather” , 1904 год 4.4

San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk , 1908-1912 годы

Rating: 5.0

Сан-Джорджо Маджоре в сумерках

One of the most famous and significant paintings in the work of the great impressionist. The predominant tones of the plot are orange – with such shades the artist associated the decline of Italian cities. The Venetian Cathedral and water, of course, water.

The master himself noted that the picture of the twilight city was completed non-standard way for him: the idea of ​​the canvas was so impressively beautiful and mesmerizing that the artist worked frenzied, literally stepping on heels moving towards sunset the sun and its water glare. Monet used in his work dramatic color contrasts, which gave the picture more depth and brightness.

Since the idea was inspired almost instantly, Monet applied the technique of short strokes and quick filling of the canvas pasta. So he was able to instantly capture the color moment and accurately convey the play of light. The author saw the main task of his works not transmitting to the viewer a moral message or a deep semantic load, while creating a sensual impression, awakening pleasant sensations, impressions, no wonder Monet is one of the brightest representatives of impressionism.

“Lady in a green dress” (Камилла), 1866 год

Rating: 4.9

The Lady in the Green Dress

The portrait depicts the wife of the great impressionist – Camilla Donsier at a time when she was neither a spouse, nor even the bride. Claude and Camilla only met then, and after one from such meetings, Monet decided to convey that vivid feeling on the canvas, arisen between young people. In the painting “Lady in a Green Dress” the artist was able to capture the quivering moment when the standing almost at the exit, the girl turned around.

Monet did not spend energy on drawing the background: all his he focused his skills on Camille herself – carefully detailed her face, neck curve, facial expression, even a slight movement of her hand, lovingly painted her dress and short fur coat. In the picture you can’t notice airiness or something unearthly: the artist tried to show a real girl, alive. Monet did not need a reference ideal: dress It looks heavy, it seems that it is difficult to drag along the floor – this says that it is made of heavy fabric.

Monet wrote what he saw and loved with all his heart (despite short acquaintance, the artist managed passionately and ardently love a girl), without embellishment and difficulties that would only insulted Camille. The picture turned out incredibly lively and deep: it feels the ardor and awe of a young lover.

“Walk. Lady with an umbrella” , 1875 год

Rating: 4.9

Прогулка. Дама с зонтиком

A painting is considered the beginning of a cycle of paintings, the first and foremost of which was written in 1875. Model for a portrait became the first wife of the artist – Camilla. Work is considered the largest in the creative period of the 1870s. Camille is depicted on the canvas with son in the wild fields near Colombes and Zhenivye.

Madame Monet is half-sided, as if she suddenly found a viewer. Her dress flutters in the wind. The figure is slightly shifted to the right, which compensated by an inclined parasol, in the dome of which is reflected bright meadow greens. A little at a distance, visible only waist-deep, is the son Monet, as if carefully looking at the viewer.

The painting was painted from nature in the open air, most likely in one session. During the creation of the canvas in the artist’s works gradually the careful elaboration of characters crowding out begins to prevail landscapes. However, the great impressionist does not forget transmit to the viewer elusive sunlight, which makes the picture looks like alive.

The arrangement of the female can be considered a special highlight of the canvas character on canvas and a low horizon that lends the picture to overall monumental view – this is a rather unusual presentation for French impressionist.

Series “Haystacks”, 1890-1891

Rating: 4.8


Monet believed that the landscape should be painted, fully preserving color, shape and mood of the environment and “this will lead to the appearance of a personal, naive vision of the situation you are looking at. ” Monet was not the first among painters who decided to transfer to the canvas rural landscape, the main object of which would be a haystack. On the this topic has already been written by Van Gogh, Pizarro, Gauguin and other great painters.

But Monet managed to excel, using two innovative element: a way of seeing light and creating a whole series of paintings. Thanks to the incredible work and talent of the artist, today we can contemplate the diversity of the same motive depending on time of day and changing lighting.

Creating a whole series of paintings depicting a haystack, Monet, in his own words, sought to show the passage of time. is he complained that in the summer, when he painted, the sun was setting so fast that the artist didn’t keep up with him and looked every time fleeting variability of light.

In 1888, Monet created several studies of stacks near Giverny. He returns to the same topic a year later when suffering begins. (summer harvest and bread harvesting). He works hard throughout several months, drawing fields covered with glare of summer sunny lights, bright reddish-red – in the fall, and tightly wrapped in snow – in the winter.

The summer of the year 1890, when the master was immersed in the Olympia business, longing to redeem the painting from the widow of Manet and transfer it to the Louvre it turned cloudy, with frequent rains. Therefore started canvases the artist had to modify already in the studio, fantasizing about the topic of how colorful and unusual the sky can be. Fifteen paintings of the series, first exhibited at Duran-Ruel, had overwhelming success and were sold out despite the high the price.

Series “Rouen Cathedral”, 1892-1893

Rating: 4.7


Another series of paintings by a brilliant impressionist, only for this once in the center of the plot is the majestic Rouen Gothic cathedral. For creating a whole cycle of paintings Monet settled near the cathedral and wrote from early morning until late evening. The artist was incredible passionate about the play of light on a cold stone and sought to convey this amazing contrast to the canvas.

Monet’s entire attention was not focused on the whole building, but only on its separate part – 2 towers: Martin and Albana. In understanding impressionist elements of the cathedral looked like a portal, and on each The painting depicted precisely this side of the building. Advancing in his work, the artist gradually began to apply more coat of paint, trying to emphasize certain details and give painting your own light.

Often the work went quickly, but Monet himself complained about this fact, saying that this complicates the task and is not easy for him to convey your vision on the canvas. Sometimes the painter suffered nightmares in which the cathedral fell on him or treacherously changed its color.

The audience was first able to see the masterpieces French impressionist only in 1895, and although opinions critics divided, many artists (including foreign) changed their worldview. 8 were sold almost immediately paintings from the series to various collectors. Remaining despite quite a high price (about 15,000 francs) were purchased yet several connoisseurs of impressionism.

Series “Water Lilies”, 1896-1926

Rating: 4.7


The huge cycle includes almost 250 paintings, each of which was performed in the technique of oil painting. Some the paintings can be safely called monumental, and not only because their impressive size, but also brilliantly conveyed color perception. For the convenience of the artist built a new workshop with special lighting.

It is noteworthy that in the process, Monet was so carried away and was impressed with the result that he did not want to part with any of paintings of the Water Lilies series, created for almost 30 years of hard work. In museums and private collections, these canvases only began to appear. after the death of the impressionist.

Monet was very proud that he was able to acquire his own estate (it was located in Giverny), where he broke a luxurious flower garden. On the paintings of the series depict water lilies growing in the garden the artist himself. By the way, many paintings were already created on that the period when the painter suffered from cataracts. But maybe it’s helped him move away from traditional color perception and create an incredible game of colors and chiaroscuro.

Canvases from the Waterlilies series are stored in many museums around the world: in Paris, New York, Wales, Oregon, etc. Representatives of the auction Christie’s home called Monet’s “Water Lilies” one of the most recognized and significant works of the 20th century, which had a tremendous impact on impressionist artists and modernists around the world.

Series “Station Saint-Lazare”, 1872-1877

Rating: 4.6


In 1872, Claude Monet joined the directorate of Saint-Lazare, stating that is going to write a series of paintings, and their main object It will be the station. The artist considered the station building to be one of most impressive at that time and wanted to convey my feelings from era of technological progress, moving away from landscape subjects.

Since Monet wrote from life, the station workers abandoned everything forces for Saint-Lazare to appear before the impressionist in all beauty: the territory of the station was constantly cleaned, even the locomotives painted, and the engineers tried to let out as much steam as possible. Luxurious the panorama literally captured the French genius, and as a result as many as 12 paintings were written, on which the station was not depicted only from different angles, but also in different weather, at different times days. This series was the first in the painter’s work: soon “to the light” “Racks” and “Water Lilies” will appear.

First introduced to the world in 1877 at the exhibition, a series of paintings “Station Saint-Lazare” was a stunning success. Famous French writer Emile Zola will later say what exactly the atmosphere conveyed on Monet’s canvases inspired him to write The Beast Man novel dedicated to the French Iron the road.

“Ladies in the garden” , 1866 год

Rating: 4.5

Дамы в саду

The picture was considered very unusual for a contemporary viewer. Monet I wanted to make it clear that he would write only as prompted inspiration and instinct for him, without regard to academic traditions. Frequently visited Monet at that time, the French landscape painter Gustave Courbet was amazed not only by the author’s idea, but also by the scale of the canvas. Due to its huge size (255×205 cm) it was incredible bulky: the artist had to lower the canvas in a special the pit with the winch when he started writing the top pictures.

The impressionist wanted to convey the game of shadow as accurately as possible light, working out for this the smallest details of the plot. Wherein his characters were assigned a secondary role. For instance, women depicted on the canvas look stylized, their faces almost not to consider: one lady is half-turned, the other his back, the third is hiding behind a bouquet of color. Thus, the artist gives to understand that he is more important than an individual, but interaction person with the outside world.

Despite the seemingly traditional, the picture was truly groundbreaking: numerous half-turns, cropped edges of dresses – for an academic painter, all this would be impossible. Picture “Ladies in the Garden” was written during the difficult financial period for Monet, so the work went on hard. It was this picture that he planned exhibit at the Paris Salon – one of the most prestigious French art exhibitions, but the jury did not miss the work. But when Monet became famous, the painting “Ladies in the Garden” was acquired French government for huge money – 200,000 francs.

“Impression. The rising sun.” , 1872 год

Rating: 4.5

Впечатление. Восходящее солнце

When the founder of impressionism painted a picture, he believed that this is his next work, which cannot be sold. But with it, in fact, began the emergence of a new direction in painting. In 1874, the creation, along with the work of colleagues, “brothers in spirit” in creativity was presented at an independent exhibition. However efforts far from all appreciated young talents.

So, journalist Louis Leroy, after visiting the exhibition, wrote critical article “Impressionist Exhibition”, which exhibited artists ridiculed by actually saying that such “creations” drive painters of an academic sense crazy, and gave then unknown to young people, the insulting nickname of “impressionists”. Of course, he then could not assume that the artists as a sign protests over time will take this nickname which will turn into common name and will become one of the most famous artistic currents of the world.

In the film “Impression. The Rising Sun” Monet special attention (however, as always) devoted color rendering, using minimum shades, but creating an incredibly vibrant, realistic landscape. The basic tones are bluish: the whole canvas is as if permeated with sensation cold, dank morning.

The artist was able to very accurately convey the mood of the port: exactly so it was seen by locals – gloomy, with sun glare on water, with sky flowing into the ocean, where it is dimly distinguishable silhouettes of ships.

“Breakfast on the grass” , 1866 год

Rating: 4.5

Завтрак на траве

An underestimated picture of a tragic fate, which has truly become a symbol of its era. Work on the canvas has begun in 1865 impressed by the infamous eponymous paintings by Edward Manet, which had a somewhat frivolous content. But, in addition to the identical name and, perhaps, the forest landscape, the paintings there is absolutely nothing in common.

Behind the creation of the canvas lies truly titanic work, because the picture was huge – 400×600 cm. And in working with such an enormous foundation requires considerable skill, the ability to feel and correctly form the composition, colors, distribute characters and so forth

The artist began work in a pre-selected place in the forest Fontainebleau. I used my spouse Camilla as models friend, comrade “on the shop floor” Frederic Basil. First thing Monet wrote in the open air forest, then painted the characters in the workshop, after which again traveled with models for writing sketches from nature. Already after that, in the workshop, the artist arranged all the elements together.

The canvas depicts a cool summer or spring day. The bright blue sky flickers among the thick, lush foliage of trees. In some places the subtle rays of the sun make their way. Against the background of the landscape, the group men and women are resting: someone is chatting, someone is sitting down for food, others sprawled on the grass. You feel the fun, the freshness of the forest, ease.

Monet originally created the canvas “Breakfast on the Grass” to present it at the Paris Salon, but catastrophically did not have time, therefore, almost in a hurry, he wrote “A Lady in a Green Dress”, favorably received by critics. Being in heavy material position, the painter left the unfinished canvas as a guarantee to his landlord and decided not to tackle the big things that they ate all his money and created difficulties for him.

But the landlord kept the masterpiece carelessly, and part of the canvas simply decayed from a long stay in a damp basement. After 7 years, Monet bought the canvas and cut into 3 parts, leaving only 2 (one was completely unsuitable). Today critics consider the picture a debut artist in a new then still style, a real flagship the impending revolution in art.

“Parliament building at sunset” , 1900-1901 годы

Rating: 4.5

Здание парламента на закате

In 1900, Paul Duran-Rouel – the constant patron Impressionism was looking forward to returning from the British capital Claude Monet. He was supposed to bring created during his stay in London views of the bridges across the Thames and Parliament. Work artist brought, but was not satisfied with the outline, so a year later he returned to finalize the paintings, and another year later.

Duran-Ruelle received the finished London cycles only by 1904, but the wait was worth it: after a week the canvas “Building parliament at sunset “was sold for good money. Since then the painting has visited many private collections of Le Havre, Paris, New York and even Japan. In 2015, the canvas was sold for 40 million. dollars.

In the process of writing a series of paintings, Monet complained about London weather inconsistency: “The weather is constantly changing due to clouds of intense wind … it drives me crazy. “. State of nature and unique sunny moments succeed each other with a colossal speed, but the fact that Monet was able to convey them on canvases is priceless. Unusual, even bold effect – a bright red glow that breaks through thick clouds.

“Waterloo Bridge in Cloudy Weather” , 1904 год

Rating: 4.4

Мост Ватерлоо в пасмурную погоду

Another masterpiece from the London cycle of Monet is also not a long time stayed at exhibitions. For example, this incredible view of the bridge Waterloo acquired a passionate lover of painting, a Russian collector Mikhail Ryabushinsky. He was 37 when in the Russian Empire there was a revolution. He hid part of the collection, part of it he gave Tretyakov deposit, after emigrated to Britain. The picture is hit the gallery of real bigwigs of the antique world – Wildensteinov. Subsequently, the canvas has changed many owners – entirely exceptional personalities.

Claude Monet first arrived in the British capital with his wife to visit her son and immediately realized that he would return here yet. The great impressionist was impressed by the color of the city and confidently set about creating paintings with local landscapes. is he admired the poetry of some London places, but the weather drove him crazy, repeatedly complicating the workflow and at the same time making it incredibly exciting.

Returning from London, Monet brought with him as many as 8 boxes canvases (!) and not one was finished. Artist a few more years finalized the picture, not allowing to sell a single one. Only when everything the canvases were completed, they were able to appear to the eyes of the astonished viewer, connoisseurs of impressionism and criticism.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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