(Mary Evans Picture Library)

 ABOVE:  A self-portrait of Claude Monet, c. 1886.

he became renowned for his caricatures – drawn in charcoal. He showed an acute business sense for a young schoolboy and sold the drawings for 10 francs (more if he could get it) to the locals. It was around this time that he met his mentor, Boudin, who taught him about en plein air techniques. Monet was hooked. He also became influenced by Johan Barthold Jongkind. In late January 1857, Monet’s mother died. He was just 16 years old. He left school and went to live with his widowed, childless

Oscar Claude Monet, known to his parents as Oscar, was born in Paris, on November 14, 1840. He was the second son of Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet. At the age of five, Monet moved with his family to Le Havre in Normandy. He was expected to follow his father into the family green grocers but he was more interested in following his mother into the arts. Louise was a singer. He showed a talent for drawing from a young age and was enrolled at the Le Havre school of arts where

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