Rue Montorgueil in Paris by Claude Monet Kitchen Towel
Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Celebration of June 30, 1878 by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, is a painting of a view looking down upon a street in Paris at a vast crowd of people celebrating in a national parade, the tricolor red, white and blue French flag waving from every window on the buildings lining the boulevard. Painted in quick, rapid brushstrokes that vivaciously capture the waving flags and movements of the crowd in the bright, sunny scene, the picture journalistically captures a scene painted from life from a vantage point high above the participants. Monet captures the light, colour, movement and atmosphere of a small slice in time, recording a scene that evokes the character of the city of Paris and the French national spirit.
Claude Monet (1840 - 1926) was a founder and chief driving force behind the French Impressionist school of painting. Born in Paris, Monet studied with Eugene Boudin, who taught the basics of oil painting and plein-air (open air) easel painting, and later with painter Charles Gleyre, eventually befriending fellow Impressionists Manet, Renoir, Bazille and others. Rejected by the Paris Salon and other venues of the 19th century academic establishment, the Impressionists painted directly from nature, capturing fleeting moments in time, in bright, broken colour and small, rapid brushstrokes. Monet lived and studied in London and Holland, producing many paintings, until the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, where his painting Impression: Sunrise gained notoriety and earned the group its famous moniker. Following the death of his child and of his first wife Camille, Monet settled in Giverny, where increasing success allowed him to establish a home and studio surrounded by elaborate gardens. Monet painted many landscapes, including garden scenes and his famous Cathedral series, with increasing concerns for light, colour and atmosphere, with a concern for colour and shapes that in his older age bordered on a kind of abstraction, making him one of the most beloved painters of the modern era.