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Parisian artist biographies and site visits (minimum 2000 words) are due on July

Parisian artist biographies and site visits (minimum 2000 words) are due on July 8th, 2024. The aim of this assignment is for you to research the life of an artist selected from a list posted to courselink.
Your paper should focus in particular on the ways that the gender of the artist affected their artistic production. 
A FEW points on how Monet could have had an advantage because of his gender and how it helped his practice 
USE Levine’s perspective and integrate that into the site visit 
This could involve their access to training, the type of work they produced, the themes in the work they produced, and the ways their work has been studied and remembered. 
You should visit at least one Parisian site associated with the artist (a former home, studio, burial site, etc) and describe this visit in your paper. 
The Monet Gardens in Giverny to appreciate the breadth of his accomplishment, an understanding of the work done at Giverny is critical. Equally important for the selection of paintings for Monet’s Years at Giverny is the fact that Giverny provides us with a specific focus on time and space which comes naturally from the painter’s life
For forty-three years – more than two-thirds of his productive life – it was the center of his existence 
How is the artist commemorated today? 
Are there streets, squares or parks named after them? 
Has their work entered public collections? 
Is their work widely read, translated and published? 
Intro to Claude’s significance in art history 
Intro to impressionism and its departure from tradition 
He resisted formalized methods or doctrines in painting, driven instead by direct observation of fleeting effects of light and colour.
Birth and childhood in Paris 
How gender affected production 
Access to subjects: as a male artist in the 19th century, Monet had relatively more freedom to travel and explore outdoor settings, compared to female artists of his time – the access allowed him to paint plein air (outdoors – the ability to capture nature light and atmospheric effects) 
Social circles – Monet’s gender would have influenced the circles in which he could engage with, including other artist, patrons, and critics. These interaction played a crucial role in shaping his artistic style and gaining recognition in the art community 
Artistic styles and themes: while monet’s gender itself may not have disctacted his cjoice of subjects or styles, societal expecationns and nirms of the time likely influenced what subjects were deemed appropriate snd worthy. Monet often painted landscapes, gardens and scenes of everyday life, which were common themes among impressionists 
Artistic identity 
The feminist movement started in 1970s as part of second wave feminist movement – men were respected, that is seen heavily in terms of the main impressionists of this time (were mostly all men) 
the figure for Monet himself, a more general allegory of the modernist artist 
As this allegorical discourse is elaborated, it becomes clear that it proceeds according to a paradigm in which “feminine” nature becomes a screen for male self-actualization.
It should be fairly obvious by now, I think, that Levine is diagnosing in Monet a narcissism that extends beyond the bounds of normality. (In the most poignant example, a naked oak that Monet is painting begins to foliate and the artist pays the tree’s owner to strip off its leaves [p. 114].) However, Monet’s narcissism is less the product of individual psychological deviance than the result of the cultural imperatives of male creativity.Monet thus represents an extreme version of a more general structure of male subject
This passage suggests that the author, Levine, sees Monet as being excessively narcissistic, meaning he’s overly focused on himself and his desires. An example given is when Monet paid someone to remove leaves from a tree he was painting, which shows his self-centeredness.
However, Levine argues that Monet’s narcissism isn’t just about his personal traits but is also influenced by societal expectations about male creativity. In other words, there’s a cultural pressure for male artists to assert their creativity in bold and sometimes extreme ways. Monet, according to Levine, is an extreme example of how these cultural expectations shape male artists’ behaviour and identity. One of Levine’s strategies for debunking this modernist myth is to show the ways it distorts Monet’s actual practice and biography. In the case of Monet’s friends Mirbeau and Clemenceau, Levine points to discrepancies between their knowledge of.Monet’s neuroses (evidenced in their letters to the artist) and the public image of the artist they promote. In the 1889 catalogue essay for Monet’s joint exhibition with Rodin, for example, Mirbeau insists on Monet’s utter lack of anxiety as “traces of despair are expunged from the public text in the name of the self-assured hero” (p. 118). Having already read Levine’s analysis of Monet’s instability in the first half of the book, the reader is easily convinced by the claim that a mythologization of Monet’s subjectivity is taking place.This modernist myth of the self is, Levine argues, a masculine ideology that reinforces the power of the male artist. But it is also oppressive to him. Indeed, one might suggest that Monet’s anxiety arises out of the disjunction between these mythic ideals of self- and world-possession and the artist’s real attempts to fulfill the male) artists who had been culturally granted entitlement to “selfhood” “individuality” or “autonomy” were likely to engage in such a struggle. In the many variations on the relationship between subjectivity and creativity that Levine invokes, “the feminine” is cast as a diffuse form of productivity, generativity, or natural maternal force associated with a lack of centeredness that the male artist can harness into something properly called artistic creativity. The notion that “through the mysterious force of artistic creativity the male artist becomes identified with female creation” is, Levine admits, another “modernist myth” (p. 234). Yet, I would argue, at stake in this description of creativity is not an embrace of the “feminine” qualities of diffusion and generativity but a struggle to maintain selfhood in the face of the desire for oblivion
( Levine argues that Monet’s narcissism isn’t just about his personal traits but is also influenced by societal expectations regarding how male artists should express their creativity. There’s a cultural pressure for male artists to be bold and even extreme in their artistic endeavors. Monet, according to Levine, exemplifies how these cultural expectations shape the behavior and identity of male artists.
Levine aims to challenge and debunk this idea, known as the modernist myth, which distorts Monet’s actual life and work. For instance, Monet’s friends Mirbeau and Clemenceau wrote about his psychological struggles in private letters to him, yet publicly portrayed him as confident and free from anxiety in their writings, like in the 1889 exhibition catalog where Mirbeau depicts Monet as a self-assured hero.
Levine suggests that this myth of the self as a masculine ideal not only reinforces the power of male artists but also oppresses them. Monet, in trying to fulfill this mythic ideal of self-possession and creativity, experiences anxiety and conflict. Levine explores how this myth contrasts with feminine qualities associated with creativity, such as generativity and maternal forces, which are seen as diffuse and lacking centeredness in comparison to the male artist’s struggle for selfhood.
In essence, Levine challenges the notion that artistic creativity aligns male artists with feminine creation, acknowledging it as a modernist myth. However, Levine argues that the real struggle lies in maintaining a sense of self amidst societal pressures and desires, rather than embracing supposed feminine qualities of creativity.) 
The work referenced where Claude Monet paid to have leaves removed from a tree he was painting is part of his famous series of paintings depicting the Rouen Cathedral.
Legend has it that during this period, Monet asked for leaves to be removed from a tree in front of the cathedral because they were casting shadows that interfered with his desired lighting effect on the building. This anecdote illustrates Monet’s dedication to capturing natural light and atmospheric effects in his paintings, often at the expense of natural settings.
This story highlights Monet’s commitment to his artistic vision and his meticulous attention to detail in capturing light and atmosphere, even if it meant altering the natural environment temporarily to achieve his desired effect on canvas.
Influence of family and early exposure to art 
Mentorship under Eugene Boudin and impact on Monet’s development 
Formation of the Impressionist Movement 
Paris art scene in the mid-19th century 
Formation of the Impressionist group and key members 
In the nid-1800s a new art movement was born in France (Modern French Masters – the impressionists 1) 
A small group of artists banded together and in th period of a few short decades completely overthrew the tenets of traditional painting 
Views as a sweeping revolution in painting a radical departure from the existing traditions of European art 
Threshold of the modern art movement 
By the 1880’s the impressionist movement was firmly established Monet’s role in shaping the movement 
Monet’s art evolved significantly after 1880, becoming more personal and visually intense.
His paintings moved from the traditional linear perspective, favouring shallow, organized spatial compositions.
Impressionists lived in Montmartre – together these painters completely changed the course of art 
PRIMARY IMPRESSIONISTS: the primary Impressionists were Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot, Jean Frederic, Bazille, Camille Pissarro, and Edgar Degas 
The artistic status quo during this time was effectively controlled by the Academie des Beaux-Arts, a state-sponsored institution. (Crespelle 9) To become a successful artist in Paris during the 1800s, one had to be accepted by the Salon, the largest, most prestigious art exhibition in Europe 
The Salon and the Academic encouraged exhibited and rewarded conventiponal paintings – the French Impressionists challenged these traditions and forged new standards 
Concerned with ways to express light in a real way on a canvas – they believed that no artist had achieved the master of light                                            
Artistic Evolution: Techniques and Style 
Transition from Realism to Impressionism 
Plein air painting and its influence on Monet 
Development of monets style: brushwork, colour palette, and composition 
Monet’s use of bold colours and assertive brushwork anticipated the style adopted by the Fauves decades later.
His brushwork was diverse and not confined to any single style, reflecting the diversity of nature.
His artistic process was deeply affected by weather conditions; he struggled with self-doubt during extended periods of rain or excessive sunlight.
Key Works and Series 
Analysis of significant paintings 
Impression, sunrise 
Gave the movement its name – Monet was to become the chief innovator of the impressionist revolution, though the beginning had been implied in the work of boudin 
Haystacks series 
Despite some criticism, the Haystacks series marked a significant exploration of fleeting atmospheric effects.
On May 4th 1891, an exhibition of 22 recent paintings by Claude Monet opened in the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris. The “Series of Grainstacks” (1890-91) as they were called in the catalogue – a decisive moment for Monet’s career 
Age of 51 (the dean of french painters) 
By this time his exhibition of haystacks opened – By this time the impressionist movement lost its its “avant-garde vitality” 
Monet abandoned the impressionists before the groups last exhibition held in the spring of 1886, and refused to participate in that event 
At the time – he was struggling toward aesthetic independence that was to culminate in the great exhibition he shared with sculptor Auguste Rodin at the Galerie Georges Petit in connection with the International Exposition of 1889 
Haystacks expo at Durand-Ruel in 1891 – secured his position here 
This series exceeded the expectations of the painter and dealer Paul Durand-Ruel 
The reasons for this have never been fully established perhaps because the HAYSTACKS like most of his later series of poplars, cathedrals, water lilies and various other travel views had been dispersed in collections throughout the world and never been reunited. 
These works were separated due to different collectors and such 
When hung together they can be described as they can breathe contentedly as Pissarro said of the original grouping in 1891 – there is no grouping where the paintings look best – any combo is powerful 
Unfortunately, it is difficult indeed impossible to identify ALL the haystacks paintings from the 1891 exhibition
No photographs of the original exhibition survive –  
Waterlilies series 
Monet’s famous series on water lilies was a culmination of over a quarter-century of work, reflecting his dedication to capturing light and the essence of his garden at Giverny. These paintings are now widely dispersed across the world.
Exploration of themes: landscapes, gardens, and water reflections 
Monet’s style evolved from traditional landscapes to impressionistic techniques, heavily influenced by his studies of light and color.
Influence and impact
Immediate reception of Monet’s works and critical responses 
Influence of contemporaries and generations 
Legacy in the context of modern art 
Despite initial criticism, Monet’s experimental approach to light and color in his later works has been recognized as groundbreaking, influencing subsequent art movements like abstract expressionism.
Monet’s Water Lilies series, criticized in its time, is now recognized for its monumental impact on modern art.
His approach influenced abstract painters like Mondrian and Kandinsky, emphasizing rhythmic brushstrokes and color dynamics over rigid form.
Monet’s work contributed to establishing principles of abstract painting through its exploration of optical and psychological sensibilities.
Summary of Monet’s lasting 
Exhibitions: There were two significant exhibitions of Claude Monet’s paintings:
One in 1937 in St. Louis and Minneapolis.
Another in 1960 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, currently shown at the Los Angeles County Museum.
Reflection of his legacy and continues relevance 
Monet’s paintings gained popularity in the United States starting from 1886, when they were first exhibited alongside other Impressionists like Pissarro, Sisley, and Renoir. His popularity remained constant thereafter.

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