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Today I’m offering a picture study aid for the artist who receives the most searches on my site: Claude Monet. The father of the Impressionist movement deserves this honor and I was glad to finally be able to offer a picture study aid for him as he truly is a giant in the world of art.
Chances are, you’ve seen at least one of his paintings in your lifetime, possibly printed on a necktie or made into a calendar. While I don’t necessarily think using the work of master artists in commercial endeavors is a bad thing, sometimes when an artist is as popular as he is, you can get a little tired of seeing his work and not truly value it. For me, I didn’t really begin to appreciate his skill and vision until I saw one of his pieces in person and realized what a master of technique and brushstroke he was.
You can get an idea of it in the above piece, Woman with a Parasol or Madame Monet and Her Son. The brushstrokes for the clouds behind her almost seem to be really comprised of little drops of sunlight. In his numerous pictures of the ocean, the waves are crowned with blindingly white crests. Some of his paintings are repetitive, but I don’t think it was for lack of content, but rather, the desire to really explore a thing and make it alive in paint.
This 22-page picture study aid includes a brief summary of the early life of Claude Monet, key topics about six of his paintings, and six printable versions of the paintings (without artist names or titles) at the end. I also offer professionally-printed copies of each piece for use during your picture study time. These are printed on durable, 120lb., coated paper and display beautifully.
Monet is extremely popular which means many, many quality resources exist to supplement your education about him. Because he is considered the father of Impressionism, books containing collections of Impressionist works are not complete without him. I think these are a wonderful way to expose your children to art and can usually be found reasonably priced either used or in the discount area of bookstores like Barnes and Noble. One caution, however, is to make sure the content aligns with your family’s values before handing it over to your child. Many Impressionist painters often included nudity in their work.
For books specifically about Monet, I found the following list helpful in putting together this picture study aid:
For younger children, I recommend the following:
- Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson
- Katie and the Waterlily Pond by James Mayhew
- Monet’s Impressions by Claude Monet
- The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt
For older children, the following are good options:
- The Life and Art of Claude Monet by Sara Pappworth
- Claude Monet: Founder of French Impressionism by Danielle Haynes
- Inspiring Artists: Claude Monet by Susie Brooks
Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F Kohl and Kim Solga also includes a project specific to Monet.
This is by no means an exhaustive analysis or study of each piece, and that is intentional. I tried to keep it all very simple in the spirit of there being, “no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman.” (vol 6 pg 216)
For enjoying art with children in general, I also included a page of art sources that I’ve found particularly good:
For younger children, I highly recommend the Mini-Master series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober. Also, the Touch The Art series by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo.
For both younger and older children, the Come Look With Me series by Gladys S. Blizzard is excellent.
You may download it below for personal use in your own homeschool (Ambleside Online, another Charlotte Mason curriculum, or otherwise). And as always, if you have any feedback or suggestions, I would love for you to fill out my feedback form!