Facts About The Water Lilies of Claude Monet

Water Lilies poster

Claude Monet was a French painter and the founder of Impressionist painting which is known to have great influences on modernism. He expressed the philosophy of Impressionism through his paintings of nature and the outdoor. As an Impressionist artist, one should have a wide understanding of the effects of light on the local color of objects and the effects of colors with each other. He made light the focus of his paintings. Oftentimes, he would complete a painting in one sitting and demonstrated how light altered color and perception of reality. 

The water lily series

Monet mainly used his garden in London as his subject. Included are the water lilies, their pond, and bridge. The Water Lilies was a significant moment in the life and career of Claude Monet. It involves a huge number of paintings and drawings from around the garden of the artist. The series has captured the beauty, fragility, and radiance of nature. There are 250 individual paintings that were created during the last 30 years of his life. 

By viewing the series, one can see the subtle changes that take place in the natural world as well as the artist. This makes the Water Lilies series popular and unique. The paintings show the passage of time, the aging process, and the impermanence of light. Many people have scrutinized his works, yet they still became influential to other styles and forms. Here are some facts about the series that you will find interesting.

  • Water Lilies and the Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh are the most iconic images of Impressionism.
  • The first series (25 canvases) of Water Lilies was exhibited at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1900. Nine years later, the second series with forty-eight canvases were exhibited. He considered his Water Lily series as an obsession that he kept on working with them until his old age. 
  • Monet focused more on the surface of the water. The sky or land was included only as reflections. 
  • The water lilies were planted by Monet before he painted them. He arranged his property in Giverny as though it were a huge painting and later said that his finest masterpiece was his garden. 
  • One of the loyal supporters of Monet, Prime Minister Clemenceau, urged the artist to work on a larger project. The project was for a set of large canvases depicting water lilies that would be displayed together. 
  • At the age of eighty-two, Monet discovered that he has a cataract and scared the artist. Monet then wrote, “I realized with terror that I could see nothing with my right eye. A specialist… told me that I had a cataract and that the other eye was also slightly affected. It’s in vain that they tell me it’s not serious, that after the operation I will see as before, I’m very disturbed and anxious.” He was operated on thrice in 1923 to correct his eye. The reds and yellows of the Water Lilies indicate that the sight of Monet has been impaired. However, the combination of colors and light created an emotive effect. 
  • The series opened the path to abstract painting. His works have greatly influenced the world of art. He set a precedent for later artists, particularly the Post-impressionist, Expressionist, and abstract-expressionist movements. 
  • The Water Lilies Series in the Orangerie, Paris is the last series that Claude Monet worked on before he died. 

Claude Monet – The French Impressionist

The Four Trees poster

Claude Monet is a famous French painter and was also known for the birth of the art movement Impressionism. This is due to his works that have captured light and natural forms. He was born in 1840 in France and studied in Academie Suisse. He suffered from depression, poverty, and illness. Monet died in 1926. 

Early life

Claude Monet was one of the most famous painters in the history of art. He was also known to be the key person in the development of the Impressionist movement. He spent most of his childhood in Normandy where his family moved when he was only five years old. He then developed his passion for art where he started with caricature. He was then encouraged by his father to do painting, which he enrolled in Academie Suisse. After several years of experimenting with different art forms, he met with the Swiss painter, Charles Gleyre and worked with Alfred Sisley, Auguste Renoir, and Frederic Basille. 

Life as an artist

It was known that Claude Monet loved to work outdoors and often with the company of Sisley, Renoir, and Basille. He was also accepted at the Salon of 1865, which was an annual juried art show in Paris. Two of his world were chosen for this event. However, even with the spotlight on him, he still experienced financial struggles. 

Just like many artists, Claude Monet sometimes was not satisfied with his works and has destroyed a number of his paintings. One of his notable works, “Impression, Sunrise” (1873), featured Le Havre’s harbor in the morning fog. The goal of his works was to capture the essence of the natural world with the use of strong colors and bold, short brushstrokes. He also adopted some elements of industry into his landscapes making his works look more contemporary. With this signature in his works, he started to exhibit with the other Impressionists until the 1880s. 

Claude Monet’s personal life

Even his personal life was filled with struggles. During the second pregnancy of his wife, Camille, she succumbed to a deteriorating illness. Claude Monet even painted a portrait of her on her death bed. After the death of Camille, Claude Monet painted a set of paintings, the Ice Drift series. Claude then became romantically involved with Alice Hoschede and got married in 1892 after the death of her husband.

It was in the late 1880s and 1890s that Monet gained financial success as his paintings became well-known. While in Giverny, he loved to paint in the gardens that he helped create. A series of paintings about water lilies in the pond were some of his notable works. The Japanese-style bridge over the pond became the subject of several works as well. 

Claude Monet traveled to find more inspiration. Once, he rented a room across the Rouen Cathedral in northern France and painted a series of paintings of the building. These works clearly showed his interest in the different effects of light. 

He helped in changing the world of art by introducing new things in the field and doing away with the traditional. He was also the key person in influencing later artists such as Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning. 

Later years

Unfortunately, Claude Monet suffered depression in his later years. He felt that his life was a failure and that he intends to destroy his paintings before he disappears. Still, he continued to paint until his last days. He died on December 5, 1926, in Giverny. 

Bouquet of Sunflowers Canvas

Bouquet of Sunflowers Canvas

This was one of the series of paintings of Claude Monet that features the row of poplars along the Epte River. Monet oftentimes visited the place to capture the landscape in various time of the day and weather conditions.

Étretat, The Beach and the Falaise d’Amont Canvas

Étretat, The Beach and the Falaise d'Amont Canvas

An iconic painting by Claude Monet that shows a beach and the sea. Seen in the background is a large cliff against a beige background. Cool and epic art that will give your home a classic and elegant appeal.

Water Lilies Canvas

Bouquet of Sunflowers Canvas

This art features the flower garden at the home of the French Impressionist, Claude Monet. Located in Giverny, his garden was the main focus of his artworks during the last thirty years of his life.

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies Canvas

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies Canvas

The art shows the piece of land that was purchased by Claude Monet in Giverny. Here, he built his water lily garden along with a Japanese bridge spanning the pond.

The Four Trees Canvas

The Four Trees Canvas

This was one of the series of paintings of Claude Monet that features the row of poplars along the Epte River. Monet oftentimes visited the place to capture the landscape in various time of the day and weather conditions.