Friday, September 25, 2009
Claude Monet's starving artist years
Everybody knows the picture of the old white-bearded man, well fed, showing visitors his Japanese bridge and water lilies, his vast studio and his plentiful table. But the young Claude personifies the starving artist. For months at a time, he and his good friend Renoir lived on a large sack of beans and made quick chalk sketches of the neighbors to pay the rent. More than once the young Claude was physically thrown out of his cheap rooms, once slashing his canvases before he ran out the door (to think of it!) and another time tossed out stark naked in the middle of the night. It was a long road to Giverny!
Here's our Claude age 25 -- wondering if anyone would ever want his work or if he could afford a flower pot, much less a garden!