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Camille Doncieux: muse and wife of Claude Monet

Camille Doncieux: muse and wife of Claude Monet


There is one muse who more than any other has inspired the most beautiful masterpieces of Impressionism and her name is Camille Doncieux, a sweet girl who struck one of the fathers of Impressionism: Claude Monet.

With her beauty and sweetness, Camille Doncieux conquered Monet's heart and although she was engaged to a wealthy young man, to follow her great love she left everything behind and preferred to live her story with the painter, even if this meant being content with a life of hardship. In fact, the two lovers were often forced to run away at night for not having paid the rent, many times the dinner consisted of a piece of bread and a little 'milk and financial constraints were a constant in the life of Claude and Camille, as at the time the artist was still a little-known young painter and his works were not understood.

About two years after their first meeting (1865) in a bookshop and after what was a real love escape, Camille Doncieux gives birth to her son Jean and meanwhile continues to be the muse of the painter, the only model of Monet, who portrays her in many paintings now famous and priceless, works that portray everyday moments, masterpieces that at the time were not understood and were considered unfinished canvases, when in reality Monet, through his fast brushstrokes, expressed the spontaneous sensations that concerned certain situations and moments experienced.

The marriage between Camille Doncieux and Claude Monet took place in 1870, when the love between the two was at its peak. The second child also arrived, but this great love was soon destined to end because of a terrible illness that would leave Camille with no chance of escape. A cancer of the uterus took her away after atrocious suffering and Claude Monet, during the last months of Camille's life began to paint in a compulsive way, as if trying to use art to fight his wife's illness, fear and other states of mind that accompanied him during this period.

Camille is immortalized more and more by her husband, in any pose, as if Claude wanted to stop time through his works, but as hopes fade even his paintings are transformed and become almost abstract, Camille takes the form of a ghost and every work, even when it represents a solar scene, has gloomy details and in the last picture Monet portrays his wife alive, the latter is painted on her deathbed, with blurred brushstrokes, making his figure transfigured.

Not even the birth of the second son, Michel, manages to bring joy to the couple, indeed, the state of health of the woman worsens and one year after the arrival of the second son, Camille dies, leaving in Claude Monet an unbridgeable void that will not be able to be filled neither by Alice Hoschedé, the woman who will marry Monet twenty years after the death of Camille Doncieux.

Upset by the loss of his great love, always absorbed by his thoughts and often totally distant from his surroundings, Claude Monet will continue to paint his beloved even after her death, even causing the jealousy of his second wife.

Article by: Aurora Caraman

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