French painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) is considered a founder of the Impressionist movement. It is from one of his paintings, Impression: Sunrise, that the group of artists takes its name. Emerging from the formal academic style of imitating the masters that dominated the art world at the time, Monet elevated the art of plein air painting with his series paintings. Masterful with color, light and atmosphere, Monet gradually transitioned from naturalism to abstraction over his long life. His studies of the same subject as observed at all times of the day, in different weather conditions, and from various points of view, made him the most prolific and consistent practitioner of Impressionism.