Claude Monet, (French, 1840-1926), 'Water Lilies,' Oil on canvas, about 1914-17. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1981.54
Plants, water, and sky seem to merge in Claude Monet's evocative painting of his lily pond at Giverny. The disorienting reflections, bold brushstrokes, and lack of horizon line or spatial depth make Water Lilies appear almost abstract. Painted about 1922, it belongs to a grand project that Monet had conceived as far back as 1897:
"Imagine a circular room whose wall . . . would be entirely filled by a horizon of water spotted with [water lilies] the calm and silence of the still water reflecting the flowering display; the tones are vague, deliciously nuanced, as delicate as a dream."
Monet began this ambitious project in 1914, finally completing it shortly before his death in 1926. Over those years he executed more than 60 paintings of his water garden, capturing the light conditions at different times of day and in different weather. Twenty-two of these large panels were installed in the Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens, Paris, as a gift to France. Toledo's painting was apparently a study for one of the three panels of the Orangerie composition Morning.
Print Size: 31" x 20"