Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature as applied to plein air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant, exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris. Monet's ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. From 1883, Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works, he began painting the water lilies in 1899, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature and in the series of large-scale paintings, to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.
Claude Monet was born on 14 November 1840 on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. He was the second son of Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet, both of them second-generation Parisians. On 20 May 1841, he was baptized in the local parish church, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, as Oscar-Claude, but his parents called him Oscar. Despite being baptized Catholic, Monet became an atheist. In 1845, his family moved to Le Havre in Normandy, his father wanted him to go into the family's ship-chandling and grocery business, but Monet wanted to become an artist. His mother was a singer, supported Monet's desire for a career in art. On 1 April 1851, Monet entered Le Havre secondary school of the arts. Locals knew him well for his charcoal caricatures. Monet undertook his first drawing lessons from Jacques-François Ochard, a former student of Jacques-Louis David. On the beaches of Normandy around 1856 he met fellow artist Eugène Boudin, who became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints.
Boudin taught Monet "en plein air" techniques for painting. Both were influenced by Johan Barthold Jongkind. On 28 January 1857, his mother died. At the age of sixteen, he left school and went to live with his widowed, childless aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre; when Monet traveled to Paris to visit the Louvre, he witnessed painters copying from the old masters. Having brought his paints and other tools with him, he would instead go and sit by a window and paint what he saw. Monet was in Paris for several years and met other young painters, including Édouard Manet and others who would become friends and fellow Impressionists. After drawing a low ballot number in March 1861, Monet was drafted into the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in Algeria for a seven-year period of military service, his prosperous father could have purchased Monet's exemption from conscription but declined to do so when his son refused to give up painting. While in Algeria Monet did only a few sketches of casbah scenes, a single landscape, several portraits of officers, all of which have been lost.
In a Le Temps interview of 1900 however he commented that the light and vivid colours of North Africa "contained the germ of my future researches". After about a year of garrison duty in Algiers, Monet contracted typhoid fever and went absent without leave. Following convalescence, Monet's aunt intervened to remove him from the army if he agreed to complete a course at an art school, it is possible that the Dutch painter Johan Barthold Jongkind, whom Monet knew, may have prompted his aunt on this matter. Disillusioned with the traditional art taught at art schools, in 1862 Monet became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. Together they shared new approaches to art, painting the effects of light en plein air with broken colour and rapid brushstrokes, in what came to be known as Impressionism. In January 1865 Monet was working on a version of Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, aiming to present it for hanging at the Salon, which had rejected Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe two years earlier.
Monet's painting was large and could not be completed in time. Monet submitted instead a painting of Camille or The Woman in the Green Dress, one of many works using his future wife, Camille Doncieux, as his model. Both this painting and a small landscape were hung; the following year Monet used Camille for his model in Women in the Garden, On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt in 1868. Camille became pregnant and gave birth to their first child, Jean, in 1867. Monet and Camille married on 28 June 1870, just before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, after their excursion to London and Zaandam, they moved to Argenteuil, in December 1871. During this time Monet painted various works of modern life, he and Camille lived in poverty for most of this period. Following the successful exhibition of some maritime paintings, the winning of a silver medal at Le Havre, Monet's paintings were seized by creditors, from whom they were bought back by a shipping merchant, a patron of Boudin. From the late 1860s, Monet and other like-minded artists met with rejection from the conservative Académie des Beaux-Arts, which held its annual exhibition at the Salon de Paris.
During the latter part of 1873, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley organized the Société anonyme d
Sir John Benn Walsh, 1st Baronet was an English landowner and MP. He was born in Cumberland as John Benn, the only son of William Benn of Moor Row, Whitehaven and his wife Mary, daughter of Timothy Nicholson. In 1787 he married daughter of Joseph Fowke of Kent. In 1795 his wife inherited the Indian-made fortune of her mother's brother Sir John Walsh on condition that they changed the family name to Walsh, which they duly did, by Royal Licence; the legacy included Warfield Park, the Radnorshire manors of Cefnllys and Coed Swydd and a number of farms in eastern Radnorshire. Benn worked for the East India Company in Benares, India as an assistant and secretary to his brother-in-law, Francis Fowke, making a small fortune in the process, which he invested in land to enlarge the family estates, making his family seat at Warfield, he served as High Sheriff of Radnorshire in 1798 and sat as an MP for Bletchingley, Surrey from 1802 to 1804. He was made a baronet in 1804, he died in 1825 and was succeeded by his son John, the future Lord Ormathwaite
Maisie Gay, born Maud Daisy Noble, was an English actress and singer, known for comic character roles in Edwardian musical comedies, including several by James T. Tanner, in works by Noël Coward and musical film adaptations of Edgar Wallace plays. Gay was born in Willesden, daughter of Peter Noble and Charlotte Elizabeth Pratt Noble, she attended the North London Collegiate School for Girls. Gay first appeared on stage in 1903 as a chorus girl, she soon rose to more prominent roles, from 1904 to 1907 she toured the British provinces as Nan, the title role in the musical A Country Girl, with a book by James T. Tanner, she made her West End debut in A Waltz King in 1908, followed that with a role in The Girls of Gottenberg. After a successful run in Tanner's Our Miss Gibbs, Gay toured the United States in another Tanner show, The Quaker Girl, she returned to London to appear in a fourth show with a book by Tanner, The Girl on the Film, in 1913. Gay remained active on the stage in both London and New York, in musicals and revues, during World War I in a US tour of Arthur Hammerstein's High Jinks in 1914 and 1915.
She was in works by Noël Coward, including London Calling!, This Year of Grace. During her 1915 American tour, she was featured as a celebrity endorsement in newspaper advertisements for Lehman Pianos. In 1925, Sketch magazine called Gay "one of our leading comedians." Her stage persona was described as both "matronly" and "madcap." One comic song by Coward, "There's Life in the Old Girl Yet," became her signature song, her part in London Calling! as "Miss Hernia Whittlebot" drew ire from Edith Sitwell, who believed the role was a crude parody of herself. She performed in silent film including The Siren's Song, she made her first sound film in 1930. She appeared in a second Wallace film adaptation in The Old Man. Around the same time she wrote her autobiography, Laughing through Life, retired from the stage as she experienced advancing arthritis. Gay married stage manager Oscar Drewe "Odee" Harris. In retirement they bought a public house called Northey Arms in Box and led a quiet retirement there until she died in 1945, aged 67.