French Impressionist painter, mainly of landscape subjects. Born in Paris, childhood and youth spent in Le Havre. As a youth showed flair for caricature. In 1858 met Boudin and was encouraged by him to paint out of doors. Moved to Paris 1859-60 and worked at the Académie Suisse, then served two years in the French Army in Algiers. Discharged 1862, met Jongkind and entered the studio of Gleyre in Paris where his fellow pupils Renoir, Sisley, Bazille became his friends. Worked in Normandy, in the Forest of Fontainebleau, and in and around Paris. Exhibited at the Salons of 1865 and 1866, but his paintings thenceforth almost invariably rejected. Painted frequently with Renoir at Bougival and Argenteuil c.1869-74, studying effects of light and reflections. Took a major part in the foundation of Impressionism (the name of the movement having been suggested by the title of one of his pictures 'Impression, Sunrise'), and exhibited with the Impressionists 1874-9 and again 1882. First one-man exhibition at La Vie Moderne, Paris, 1880. Settled at Argenteuil 1872, Vétheuil 1878, Poissy 1881 and in 1883 at Giverny, where after 1890 he created a beautiful garden and lily pond which provided themes for most of his later paintings. Growing success from 1890 when he began to paint series of canvases of the same motif: Haystacks, Poplars, Rouen Cathedral, Water-Lilies etc. Also painted series of London and Venice. Died at Giverny.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.536-7