Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Oil on canvas; 51 1/4 x 79 in. (130.2 x 200.7 cm)
Gift of Louise Reinhardt Smith, 1983 (1983.532)
As part of his extensive gardening plans at Giverny, Monet had a pond dug and planted with lilies in 1893. He painted the subject in 1899, and thereafter it dominated his art. He worked continuously for more than twenty years on a large-scale decorative series, attempting to capture every observation, impression, and reflection of the flowers and water. By the mid-1910s, Monet had achieved a completely new, fluid, and somewhat audacious style of painting in which the water-lily pond became the point of departure for an almost abstract art. This work, which he began in the late teens and kept in his studio until his death, is one of the most complete pictures of the late series.