Famous Paintings by Claude Monet:

Famous Paintings by Claude MonetCredit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/Cl%C3%A9mentel_monet_in_seinen_gaerten_20008_1.jpg/220px-Cl%C3%A9mentel_monet_in_seinen_gaerten_20008_1.jpg

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably familiar with the Impressionist period and how it revolutionized the art world, shaking up the profession to this day. One of the most influential people of this period, and for good reason, was Claude Monet. The famous paintings by Claude Monet are not only some of the most expensive (read priceless) pieces of art in the world, they are cherished by millions.

This article is all about a few of the most famous paintings by Claude Monet. Maybe you're visiting just because you wanted to look at a few pictures of Monet paintings, or perhaps you're looking for Monet prints. Maybe you just wanted to learn a bit more about the history of his more famous work. This article will talk about a few of the most popular Monet paintings out there and their background.

Water Lilies

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet: Water LiliesCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Le_bassin_aux_nymph%C3%A9as_-_Claude_Monet.jpg

You can't mention famous paintings by Claude Monet without at least touching on Water Lilies. It's sort of a misunderstanding to think of this as a single piece. Monet was a prolific painter and the piece pictured above, known as  Le bassin aux nymphéas is just one of 250 paintings of water lilies completed by the artist during his lifetime. They depict his garden, and it seems that water lilies were a particular favorite subject matter for Monet. 

The piece pictured about was sold at auction for almost $80 million, and it's therefore one of the better known of his pieces. The various paintings of this theme are scattered around the world and can be found in major museums across the globe, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery in London and the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo. 

Haystacks Series

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet: HaystacksCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Claude_Monet,_Haystacks_on_a_Foggy_Morning,_1891,_Oil_on_canvas.jpg

Another world famous series of paintings by Claude Monet is the Haystack or Grainstack series, one painted later in his life. This series was very repetitive in theme, much like the water lilies mentioned before, but it played with the changing of the seasons and how that affected light, color and movement. The stacks pictured in all these works were within an area close to his home, making them an attractive subject matter. 

Monet started with the Haystack series thinking it would just be a few works, but seemed to be unable to let it go at just that. There were so many seasons, and so many different ways the light and wind would interact with this subject. The haystacks themselves wouldn't change; they were effectively the same in shape and utility for a hundred years. They served as the one constant as the world evolved around them. 

Houses of Parliament Series

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet: Houses of ParliamentCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Claude_Monet_015.jpg

The Houses of Parliament series was another famous set of paintings by Monet, and they are unique because he did all of them from the same vantage point. These pieces were done during Monet's visits to london as he was staying in the St. Thomas' Hospital. The vantage point was the view from his room overlooking the Thames, and it explains the static nature of the view. 

The view and the subject matter were about the only things that were static in these works, however. These are some of the most famous paintings by Claude Monet because they, like the haystacks above, reflect the changing of the seasons to be found in London. Everything from sun to rain to fog can be seen in these works. Being some of his later pieces, these were some of the more experimental and truly impressionist works in his portfolio. The pictures of Monet paintings in this series simply doesn't do them justice: they must be seen in person. The piece above can be found in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

Camille Monet - Woman With a Parasol

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet

Famous Paintings by Claude Monet: CamilleCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Claude_Monet_011.jpg

One of Monet's very favorite subjects was Camille, his wife. She had a tragically short life, ended early by pelvic cancer, but some of Monet's most famous paintings had her as the subject. Several pieces were entitled Woman With A Parasol, and they are very well known to this day. One of Monet's first works was the Woman in the Green Dress, one of the first pieces to gain Monet some notoriety. 

The interesting thing about his paintings of Camille (and of most human subjects in many of his works) was the treatment of facial features and details. Monet, especially in his later works, seemed less concerned with capturing exact facial details and more concerned with accurately expressing the feel and the flow of the scene he was capturing. This rang true with the Impressionist ideal, but it also may have been due to the cataracts that he suffered with for much of his later life. 

You can find many works of Camille and the two sons she bore in his work, and they are among the more famous paintings by Claude Monet.