I was born in 1840 in Paris, France. In 1845 my family moved to Normandy.
My father was a grocer and wanted me to follow in his footsteps. My mother was a singer and wanted me to follow my dream… which was to be an artist. In my secondary school, I was known for my charcoal caricatures which I was able to sell for ten to twenty francs each.
My mother died in 1851 when I was sixteen years old. I was sent to live with my childless, widowed aunt.
When I visited the Louvre, I witnessed painters copying from the old masters. I refused, choosing instead to sit by a window and paint what I saw.
In June 1861, I signed up for a 7 year commitment to the 1st Regiment of African Light Calvary, but two years in I contracted typhoid fever and my aunt intervened to get me out of the army if I completed an art course at an art school.
In 1879 after the birth of our second child, my wife Camille died at the age of 32. I painted her on her death bed. Up to this point, we had lived a life of poverty. I resolved to never be so mired again.
While my work was commercial, it was never accepted by the elites of my time.
In my late forties, my work began to sell more actively and I was able to purchase the home I then rented and live more comfortably.
In 2008 a single painting of mine sold for 36,500,000 pounds ($71,892,376).
I am Claude Monet, father of French Impressionism.