When Monet was a young man, he and his classmates abandoned traditional training in the studio to paint en plein air, or outdoors. They were interested in capturing natural light and scenes of daily life. This radical move outraged their teachers, who excluded the young artists from prestigious art exhibitions for years.
But that didn’t stop the rebel artists. They became known as the Impressionists.
Monet painted his 1867 Garden at Sainte-Adresse, above, en plein air in Normandy, a region on the coast of northern France. He uses bold hues, or colors, to capture natural light. Long shadows stretch across the scene, indicating where the sun is in the sky, even though it is outside of the picture plane.
Critics rejected works like the one above, and Monet lived in poverty for many years. In the 1860s and ’70s, he struggled to afford food and even sold his possessions so he could buy paint.