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Daily Art Moment: Claude Monet

Monet’s Waterlilies is, hands down, a visitor favorite. The artist’s garden at his home in Giverny was a large focus of his art for nearly thirty years. It is remarkable to think of sustaining such prolonged interest in a single subject! Yet for Monet, “one instant, one aspect of nature contains it all” as he described the depth of inspiration he experienced at this one spot. Over the years, he moved away from the tighter brushstrokes that detail color and light that is commonly associated with Impressionism, toward a looser depiction of the scene. In the Museum’s work, dating to 1914–15, Monet almost seems to draw onto the canvas with longer strokes of purple, blue, and green paint, suggesting the fleeting movement of the water’s surface in gestural abstraction. Blobs of pink, orange, blue, and purple speckled paint define the blooms, practically standing up off the canvas. Close looking rewards viewers who dive deep into this wonderfully open waterscape untethered from the horizon or a determinate point of view.

Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Detail of lower left corner: Dry brushed ovals against the periwinkle blue water sit left of a pink blossom created with thick paint in pink, orange, pale yellow, dark purple, and red strokes. There are green vertical brushstrokes to the right and above the blossom.

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), Waterlilies, 1914-15. Oil on canvas. Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund, 59.16