Happy Birthday, Claude Monet
In fact, I can probably not impress on you enough how much I love Impressionism.
But, I did not know it was Monet's birthday today (Nov. 14) until I saw an Art Institute of Chicago post on Google+ (which, by the way, is actually a really good social media source of news now).
I also did not know his full name was Oscar-Claude!
It's hard to say what the first Impressionism painting I ever saw was, since they're in mainstream news stories, movies,etc. But I think the first Ipainter who left an impression with me was Auguste Renoir. There's just something about his porcelain doll-faced figures and style that makes me want to stare at one of his works for hours - or at least a NY minute.
Monet, I think, really popularized the movement with his water lilies, and for that I am very grateful. There are 88 works by him alone at Paris' Musee D'orsay.
Locally, less than an hour from Troy in Massachusetts at the Clark Institute, there are multiple works by Renoir, Monet, Degas, Gauguin, Manet and many others.
So, happy birthday to the founder of Impressionism!