Water Lilies – Claude Monet

Water Lilies - Claude Monet

The Water Lilies are many different impressionist paintings of water lilies by the French artist Claude Monet. Monet had a colorful garden with a pond built in his studio in Giverny in the 1890s to be able to paint his beloved motif in all kinds of weather conditions (half outdoors). He didn't have to travel that much anymore and was more at home with his wife and children. Monet painted many different variations on this theme. In the period 1899-1900 alone, he made 18 different water lily paintings.

In the period 1914-1926, Monet created a series of huge wall panels with water lilies for the Musée de l'Orangerie in the Tuileries in Paris (see image above). Because Monet was probably largely blind at the end of his life, he would have painted these so-called reflex landscapes (landscape without explicit representation of sky or horizon) mainly from his memory. He donated these works to his good friend Paul Clemenceau. Clemenceau had stimulated Monet, while subsiding his vision, to continue painting. Monet donated the works as a 'tribute to peace'. The paintings were for a long time inaccessible to the public, but are now again the main showpieces of the recently renovated museum.

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