Monet Drawings

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"You must begin by drawing … Draw simply and directly, with charcoal, crayon or whatever, above all

observing the contours, because you can never be too sure of holding on to them, once you start to paint."
-Claude Monet, 1920

Claude Monet is infamous for rewriting his own history. He did things like claim that he was in the army for five years and that he spent not more than a few weeks at the Gleyre’s workshop.

 One rewrite of his is in how much time he spent studying and working on his pieces. Monet liked people to think that he spent little time drawing and most of his time painting, his work was praised for this aspect. The truth is that as a child and as a man drawing was important to Monet. He used drawings to plan out paintings, like the 14 sketches of water lilies in Monet’s surviving sketchbooks, but they could also be the finished product as is the case with pages 18 and 19 of Sketchbook 1. It contains a picture of Jean-Pierre and Germaine Hoschedé and Michel Monet all writing together. For Monet, drawing was a necessary part of art; unfortunately this work contradicted the supposed spontaneity of Impressionist painting. The drawing aspect of Monet’s art is largely unpublicized and unexplored.

Much of Claude Monet’s early work has been lost. Most noticeably, few of his caricatures have survived and been tracked down. Due to this, it is difficult to tell just how much Monet drew. However, the journal of Count Théophile Béguin Billecocq survives. He was a friend of the family and was an amateur draftsman (as Monet’s aunt was an amateur painter). The Count wrote about Monet, showing him to be devoted to drawing. He commented that Monet’s quick sketching appeared “Impressionistic” but he wrote that the drawings were "detailed, as precise as reality, and delicate, representing the houses, trees, people, etc., in the best possible manner." The journal was begun in 1854 and ends around 1884.

Find out about Monet's Caricatures

Source: 1. The drawings of Monet: Clark Art Institute shows artist's hidden side by Carol Vogel

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Other Great Masters

Monet Prints >

Waterlilies at Giverny
Monet Water Lilies at Giverny Print

Sketch of Woman and Umbrella
Monet Woman with Umbrella Print

Monet Poppies Print

Women in the Garden
Monet Women in a Garden Print

The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil with Boy
Monet the Artist's Garden at Vetheuil with Boy

"No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition." Claude Monet Quotes