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Do You Know The Different Claude Monet Painting Series

Claude Monet is famous for founding the impressionism art movement in the 19th century. He is also very well known for painting a subject over and over again. These groups of paintings are now known as the Claude Monet painting series.

Why did Monet Paint in Series?

It fascinated Monet how one scene could change so drastically under different lights. When painting, he aimed to capture the changing colors by painting the same subject matter at different times of the day, under various weather conditions, in changing seasons and under different lights.

Monet began painting a series in the 1880s and continued this practice throughout his entire life. Here you will find a summary of his greatest painting series.

Haystacks at Giverny (Les Meules à Giverny)

The first Claude Monet painting series is called “Haystacks”. Monet painted this series throughout the months of 1890–91. The famous art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, exhibited 15 of these paintings in 1891. The Haystacks series received positive attention from the art world. It was an important breakthrough for both Monet’s personal career and for the impressionism art movement. The novelty of this exhibition was the unique subject matter and the concept of exhibiting an entire series of paintings together.

Claude Monet Posters of Haystacks
Claude Monet series – Haystacks

Incredibly in May 2019, a Claude Monet Haystack painting from this series was bought through a Sotheby’s auction. It was bought for a staggering $110.7 million dollars.

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Claude Monet Series called Haystacks
Claude Monet Painting Series called Haystacks Series

Rouen Cathedral Series

Claude Monet felt overwhelmed by the beauty and grandeur of Rouen’s Cathedral and painted over 30 paintings.

Monet traveled twice to Rouen in order to paint the cathedral. First in early spring of 1892 and then again in the spring of 1893. He rented rooms across the street from the cathedral. From these spaces, Monet set up temporary painting studios for this project.

Claude Monet painted throughout the day, for very long hours and worked on several canvases as the day progressed. He did not complete all the paintings in Rouen. On his return to his spacious painting studio in Giverny, Monet completed this series. Monet finally completed the Rouen catherdral series in 1894.

Poplars (Les Peupliers)

The next Claude Monet painting series was called Poplars. He painted this series in the summer and fall of 1891. The poplar trees lined a waterway along the banks of the Epte River, not far from his home in Giverny.

When Monet discovered that the poplars on the Epte stream were to be cut down for their timber, he paid the council to keep them standing. While the artist could not delay the event forever, the poplar trees remained standing long enough for him to paint them. Monet painted some of the poplar paintings from the riverbank and others from a floating painting studio.

Like the Haystacks series, a Paris gallery exhibited fifteen paintings from the Poplars series in 1892.

Venice, Italy

Claude Monet was 68 years old when he and his wife first traveled to Venice. He fell in love with the city at once. After a couple of days, he felt the urge to paint the gorgeous views around him. However, he felt reluctant about painting Venice. He was frightened that his paintings would be cliche and similar to other Venice artworks painted by so many other artists before him.

“Although I am enthusiastic about Venice, and though I’ve started a few canvases, I’m afraid I will only bring back beginnings that will be nothing else but souvenirs for me”,

Words of Claude Monet in a letter to the art dealer Gaston Bernheim

In the end, Monet painted 37 Venice landscapes featuring a dozen different views. Again, Monet finished most of these paintings from in his studio in Giverny.

The French art dealer, Bernheim-Jeune bought twenty-nine of the thirty-seven Venice paintings. On May 28, 1912, four years after Monet’s trip to Venice, the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris exhibited these paintings. The exhibition of the Venice series was a huge success.

London – Palace of Westminster ( Houses of Parliament)

Monet created the series of the Houses of Parliament in two separate visits to London in the years 1900 and 1901. 

He painted the building from a window or balcony at St Thomas’ Hospital overlooking the Thames.  Like his other series, Monet captured the same perspective of the Houses of Parliament but each canvas was done at different times of the day and under varying weather conditions. This way, Monet was able to capture the changing colors and atmosphere. Monet loved London’s infamous fog. In fact, he captured foggy London in many of these paintings!

Monet returned to his home in Giverny to complete this series and worked on them for the next three years. This series was ready for exhibition in 1904. 

London – Charing Cross Bridge & Waterloo Bridge 

Also during his visits to London, Claude Monet captured other London views. Monet painted Waterloo Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge over and over again. He painted these bridges from the fifth-floor balcony of the Savoy Hotel, also at different times of the day and under varying weather conditions. In total, Monet painted thirty-seven canvases of Charing Cross Bridge.

Claude Monet was extremely prolific during his visits to London. He began nearly 100 paintings, but most of them he finished later when he returned to his studio in Giverny, France.

Claude Monet Series of Charing Cross Bridge London
Claude Monet Series of Charing Cross Bridge, London

The Iconic Claude Monet Painting Series “Water-Lilies”

Claude Monet’s water-lilies series is the largest and most famous series of them all. In total, Monet painted around two hundred and fifty oil paintings depicting the water-lilies from his water pond in his Giverny garden.

This series Monet painted in the last 30 years of his life. He even continued this series when cataracts began diminishing his eyesight in 1912.  

In 1899, Monet built a quaint Japanese-style bridge that went over his water pond. He felt pleased with how it looked and painted this bridge seventeen times that very same year.

World Fame Came Much Later for Claude Monet

For over 20 years after Monet’s death, the art world forgot about his Water Lilies series. Most of his canvases were forgotten in his Giverny painting studio. However, in the 1950s, art curators rediscovered Claude Monet and his impressionism paintings.

Water Lily Pond-Claude Monet Painting [Public Domain]
Water Lily Pond-Claude Monet Painting [Public Domain]

In 1955, the Museum of Modern Art ( MoMA ) bought their first Monet Water-Lilies painting. It became one of the museum’s most famous paintings. Soon after, Claude Monet and his water-lilies artworks became famous and iconic worldwide.

On May 8th, 2018, a Claude Monet Water-Lilies painting from this series was bought through a Sotheby’s auction. It was sold for a mammoth price of $84.6 million dollars.

Check out the Claude Monet prints and posters from the amazing Water-Lilies series (a great option if an original painting is not in your budget!!).

Press on the articles below to read about Claude Monet, his life, the places he loved to paint and where to see his art.