Nympheas, 1906 by Claude Monet


Nympheas, 1906


Claude Monet

Ref RH2677-F1
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Although the garden was a favoured subject for many of the Impressionists, no artist rivalled Monet in his dedication to the theme. During the last two decades of his life, Monet devoted himself almost exclusively to depicting the water garden that he had created at his home in Giverny, producing an astonishingly complex series of more than two hundred canvases that constitute some of the most innovative and influential works of his entire oeuvre. Monet and his family moved to Giverny in April 1883. On his arrival there, Monet rented a large house on two acres of land, and subsequently bought it when it came up for sale in 1890. Early in 1893 Monet acquired an adjacent plot of land and by autumn he had converted nearly one thousand square meters into a lavish lily pond, spanned by a wooden footbridge and surrounded by an artful arrangement of flowers, trees and bushes. Monet did not begin work on his water-lily series immediately, however. It was not until 1904, following the enormously successful exhibition of his paintings from London, that Monet began to focus on the surface of the lily-pond as a subject, and this would almost remain his exclusive subject for the duration of his career. He completed more than sixty views of the pond between 1905 and 1908, repeatedly postponing the opening of the Nymphéas exhibition at Durand-Ruel. When the show finally opened in May 1909, it was an unqualified success. The critical response was overwhelmingly positive, and the exhibition was so popular that it was extended by a week.