Claude Monet is known for his series of paintings of the water lilies in his garden and pond in Giverny, France. The Water Lilies series was started by Monet in 1914, but some earlier works date back to 1899. The main subject of these paintings is the round bridge and water lily flowers that bloomed in his garden.
Monet’s Water Lilies series demonstrate his exceptional skill at plein-air painting, feeling for color and appreciation of light. Color was paramount for Monet as he aimed to capture the shifting sunlight as it filtered through the foliage onto the water’s surface. He painted over 250 works throughout his life and did not name them individually as they were part of a singular series with a cohesive theme.
One unique aspect of this particular painting – Water Lilies (The Clouds), which was created in 1903 – is how it depicts clouds in the reflection on the pond’s surface. In this piece, he chose to include both above-ground elements such as trees and clouds and their reflections on the water within one frame. This lends a dream-like quality to the painting, making it seem like you’re suspended between two worlds simultaneously- real world above ground with blue skies peppered with white clouds mixed with their own counterparts reflected below creating an impressionistic portrait that seems almost It seems impossible yet magical all at once.