Monet the cartoonist

Claude Monet
Portrait of Jean Monet (Portrait de Jean Monet) 1880
oil on canvas
46.0 x 37.0 cm
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5021)
© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse
Claude Monet
Portrait of Michel wearing a hat with a pompom (Portrait de Michel en bonnet à pompon) 1880
oil on canvas
46.0 x 38.0 cm
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5018)
© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse

As a teenager, at school in the port city of Le Havre, Monet preferred to draw caricatures of his classmates and teachers rather than pay attention in class. He became so skilled at these that he expanded his subjects to include  local dignitaries and came to an arrangement with a local picture framer who displayed these caricatures in his shop window where they were sold (and commissioned) and for which he was paid commercial prices. Monet was able to make sufficient money from these to buy supplies of art materials which he used to make paintings of the neighbouring towns and coast.  By the time he went to art school in Paris, Monet was more interested in plein air (outdoor) painting than either portraiture or caricature, but later he often drew his children at home in the evenings while they did their homework.

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