French, 1840 - 1926
Oil on canvas
39 1/4 x 79 1/8 in. (99.7 x 201 cm)
Purchased in memory of Robert Allerton, 1966 (3385.1)
Claude Monet rented and then bought a country house in Giverny, a small village on the Seine River about forty miles west of Paris. In 1893, he acquired a lily pond adjacent to his property, which he redesigned, enlarged, and painted time and again. This painting belongs to the last of three series of works depicting the fugitive, fleeting play of light on the artist's beloved pond. In loose, curving lines and tightly knit strokes of multi-colored pigment, Monet captured the illusion of the reflective body of water. Suspended between reality and its shifting appearance, the lily pads dissolve equally into the shimmering water and the opalescent sky. Like his fellow Impressionists, Monet pursued the transient moment for its own sake and sought to capture nature in perpetual flux.