Boats at the Bridge in Argenteuil

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Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926)

Claude Monet was in almost every sense the founder of French Impressionist painting, the term itself coming from one of his paintings, Impression, Sunrise. As a child, his father wanted him to go into the grocery business, but his heart was in the profession of artistry, and at age 11, he entered Le Havre secondary school of the arts. During his stay at the secondary school, he was known for the caricatures he would draw for the locals for ten to twenty francs each. Five years later, he met artist Eugene Bouldin, who taught him the techniques of “en plein air” painting and became his mentor. At the age of 16, Monet left school for Paris, where instead of studying the great artworks of the masters, he sat by the window and painted what he saw outside.


As a painter of controlled nature, Monet’s garden was one of his biggest sources of inspiration. As such, he wrote precise instructions for his gardeners, with specific designs and color layouts, and amassed a large collection of botanical books. At one time, he employed seven gardeners at once. After his death of lung cancer, his only surviving child, Michel, was heir to the Monet family property, which has since been restored and opened to the public, including the vast gardens.

Dafen is a suburb of Buji, Longgang, Shenzhen in Guangdong province, China. In the early 1990s a group of about twenty artists under the leadership of the painter and businessman Huang Jiang took up residence in this town. They specialized in the making of large numbers of replicas of oil paintings by masters such as Van Gogh, Dalí, da Vinci, Rembrandt or Warhol.
These replicas were sold in many countries for relatively low prices.

The endeavor was quite successful and the demand for replicas increased. In order to fulfill the demand more and more artists took up residence and started to make a living, the estimate (2006) being in the thousands.
Many of the artists are trained at art academies in the required techniques and produce dozens of replicas daily.
The official policy states that these replicas are of paintings of artists who have died more than seventy years ago and than out of copyright.

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