Water Lilies (1906) by Claude Monet

Water Lilies - Claude Monet - 1903

Artwork Information

TitleWater Lilies
ArtistClaude Monet
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions87.6 x 92.7 cm (34 1/2 x 36 1/2 in.)
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationThe Art Institute of Chicago

About Water Lilies

The artwork titled “Water Lilies,” created by Claude Monet in 1903, is an example of Impressionist oil painting that depicts the lush beauty of a floral arrangement. Measuring 87.6 by 92.7 centimeters, this piece belongs to the renowned series “Water Lilies” and is housed at The Art Institute of Chicago. The genre of the painting is flower painting, a theme that Monet explored extensively throughout his career.

The artwork embodies the quintessence of Impressionism, a movement characterized by a unique focus on light and color. Monet’s brushwork is loose and vigorous, capturing the ephemeral quality of light dancing on the water’s surface. The canvas is suffused with a harmonious palette of blues, greens, purples, and pinks, which converge to create an almost dreamlike vista. The reflections and the interplay between light and shadow fragment the lily pads and blooms, thus creating a rhythmic pattern that floats on the canvas. There is a lack of clear lines or definitive shapes, inviting the viewer to experience the scene as one might in nature—momentarily, as light and weather change the perception of color and form. This piece is not just a literal depiction of water lilies; it is an exploration of the transient nature of perception, a hallmark of Monet’s work and the Impressionist movement.

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