Claude Monet was born to Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubée Monet, both second-generation Parisians. He was originally baptized as Oscar Claude Monet, but later in life used only Claude Monet. His family moved to La Havre port in Normandy, where his father had hopes of Claude going into the family ship-handling and grocery business. The young Monet had other ideas, though and is mother supported his desire to be an artist.
During his adolecent years he was very gifted at drawing charicatures and even sold some of them to the La Havre Port locals.
When he was only sixteen his mother passed away and he quit his schooling to go live with a widowed childless aunt. She encouraged him to continue his schooling and bought him a painting kit. From this point on Claude fell inlove with painting. Around the same time he met Eugéne Boudin, who became his mentor and taught him how to use oil paints and the "en plein air" landscape painting style. Monet, exclaimed, "Suddenly the veil was lifted! My destiny as a paintert was opened to me."
Monet traveled to Paris and witnessed other artists at the Louvre copying the Renaissance era master's paintings. He preferred sitting in the window of the Louvre and painting what he saw outside. He was in Paris for many years and met some of his closest friends at the Louvre, such as Manet, Renoir, Fredric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley.
Monet entered the service for a brief time he and when he became ill he was discharged. His aunt encouraged him to go back to school in Paris
Monet's legacy stems from a Salon art exhibition where he displayed a painting named, "Impression Soliel Levant," or "Impression Sunrise." It was a painting of the La Havre port landscape. From it's title an art critic wrote a review that was intended to disparage the work, by saying sarcastically, that it was a lovely "Impression." Monet's colleagues appropriated the name "Impressionism," as their own. Artists such as Renoir, Sisley, Pissaro, Manet, and many more created a movement that was intended to step out of the conformity of traditional rules applied to painting at the time.
In later life Monet became 80% blind when he created his most famous series of paintings the water lily series. Painting his elaborate landscape at his home in Giverny, Monet spent hours in his waterlily pond. Many of his paintings were displayed at the Musée de l' orangerie, an art museum that Monet helped establish.