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Water Lilies

Claude Monet1916

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

Monet began work in 1883 in the small village of Giverny down stream on the Seine from Paris. Then in 1893 he bought the land in front of his home and built a Japanese style garden in the space. Monet used a small stream that ran through his property to build a huge pond which he filled with water lilies and crossed with a humpbacked bridge. He lined the banks with willows and shrubbery and retired to this watery realm isolated from the outside world to create his final series, "The Water Lilies". He built a glasswalled studio on the side of the garden and set up a wheeled easel that he could freely roll around the room. There he created painting after painting of the changing images of the pond, its water lilies and the reflecting light at all hours of morning, day and evening. In different works of the series he included images of the willows on the shore, the humpback bridge and the evening sky. But he finally concentrated solely on the pond itself. He filled the entire surface of the work with an image of the pond, giving the viewer the strong impression of standing in the center of the pond. The brushstrokes and pigments depicting flowers and water differ considerably from early Impressionist techniques; at times they reach the passionate intensity of Expressionism in their evocation of the beauty of the water's surface. This work is one of the finest of these late "Water Lilies" paintings. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.78)

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Details

  • Title: Water Lilies
  • Date Created: 1916
  • Location Created: France
  • Provenance: Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.
  • Physical Dimensions: w2010 x h2005 mm
  • Painter: Claude Monet
  • Description: 睡蓮
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Matsukata Collection, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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