Light. Atmosphere. Immediacy. These seemingly simple aspects of artistic composition inspired the Impressionists and were the subjects of founding father Claude Monet’s rule-breaking ingenuity. Monet’s brilliant defiance of the long-established rules of painting is showcased in the digital Collected Works of Claude Monet.

Trained in an Academic technique, Monet began to rebel even as a student. Banding together with his studio mates, he ventured into relatively uncharted artistic territory by loosening his brushstroke and considering the play of light and atmosphere as essential to his composition. This pioneering approach is visible in his early work, such as Luncheon on the Grass (1865-1866), but became central as the years progressed, with works such as Woman with a Parasol (1875), which displays the full manifestation of his Impressionist style. The pursuit of light would fuel Monet for the many remaining years of his career and take him to the water lily gardens near his Giverny home, the haystacks near Normandy, and the shores near London's Waterloo Bridge. Throughout these various vistas, Monet's coloristic effects of light and atmosphere reign supreme, just as they do in the Collected Works of Claude Monet, available now on Musebooks.