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In 1868, Impressionist painter Claude Monet was desperate. Though he had been painting for a decade, he was living in poverty. He had to support his girlfriend and infant son on his meager earnings. His relatives refused to help him out, so he begged for money from his friends, telling them that his situation seemed hopeless.
Yet just over two decades later, with brisk sales through an art dealer, Monet had become wealthy and famous. People came from all over Europe, and even a few from the United States, to visit him. He lived in comfort for the rest of his life.