photo of Claude Monet sitting on a chair

20 Quotes from Claude Monet

In honor of Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, we gathered the following quotes by the artist. The Denver Art Museum is the only venue in the United States for this exhibition, which is on view through February 2, 2020.

1. If I became a painter, it is to Eugène Boudin that I owe that fact.

2. Zaandam is wonderful. There is enough to paint here for a lifetime.

The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.

– Claude Monet
gallery view of Claude Monet The Truth of Nature
Photo by James Florio.

4. Now I really feel the landscape. I can be bold and include every tone of pink and blue: it's enchanting, it's delicious.

5. What I like most of all in London is the fog.

6. For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment.

7. I don't believe I shall ever leave Giverny.

8. I would like to paint the way a bird sings.

Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.

– Claude Monet
gallery view of Claude Monet The Truth of Nature
Photo by James Florio.

10. I'm hard at it, working stubbornly on a series of different effects (grain stacks), but at this time of the year the sun sets so fast that it's impossible to keep up with it....

11. I'm never finished with my paintings; the further I get, the more I seek the impossible and the more powerless I feel.

12. These palm trees [in Bordighera, Italy] are driving me crazy; and also the motifs are extremely difficult to render, to put down on canvas; everywhere is so lush.

13. Aside from painting and gardening, I am good for nothing.

14. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.

When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow.

– Claude Monet
gallery view of Claude Monet The Truth of Nature
Photo by James Florio.

16. More than ever despite my poor sight, I need to paint and paint unceasingly.

17. City life doesn't really suit me.

18. Étretat is becoming more and more amazing...it's superb and I rage at my inability to express it all better. You'd need to use both hands and cover hundreds of canvases.

19. ...the sea [Kervilahouen] is giving me a terrible time of it, it's so unlike the sea I'm used to painting, but I have hopes of achieving what I want....

20. …people must first of all learn to look at nature, and only then may they see and understand what we are trying to do.

Image at top: Claude Monet in the garden of Giverny, 1915. Private Collection / Bridgeman Images.

Stefania Van Dyke is a senior interpretive specialist. Her favorite Monet factoid is that, in their youth, he and Renoir apparently spent an entire year surviving on potatoes.