Water Lilies - Claude Monet. Oil on Canvas, 200 x 200 cm
Monet began to write water lilies in 1899. One of the garden's favorite spots was a Japanese-style bridge pond. Monet grew water lilies in it and could spend hours admiring the reflection of delicate flowers in the water and the play of sun glare.
This work was performed in the period from 1914 to 1917. The grandiose two-meter canvas differs from the early variations on this plot not only in its scale, but also in its free interpretation, as well as bold experiments.
While working on a painting, the painter deliberately refuses to convey a reliable impression - an idea that he promoted throughout his career and gives the plot an abstract character. Water lilies are presented in the form of round and oval islands of yellow and pink flowers, located on the water drawn in dark blue, green and purple colors.
The composition is completely built on color to the detriment of other means of expression. Water is presented as a multilayer substance - an attentive viewer can see how, applying a new layer with careless short strokes, Monet blocked the outline of leaves and flowers with them.
In whatever genre the master worked, he always sought to convey movement on the canvas. Such a seemingly static landscape is also full of dynamics. Thanks to vertical strokes of violet and dark green flowers crossing the entire canvas, it seems that we see reflected tangled algae and roots of plants under water - this creates the desired movement, not allowing the landscape with outlandish flowers to “freeze”.
The water lilies themselves were painted by the artist in a rich yellow color, while laying it on Monet’s canvas densely and generously, and it seems that the flowers are gaining volume.
The picture clearly demonstrates how much importance the master attached to color. He deliberately refuses such a basic concept in composition as the horizon, suddenly cutting off the water surface with water lilies on the edges of the canvas.
Monet created a series of monumental panels with water lilies, initially bequeathing them to his country. Especially for working on such large canvases, he builds a new workshop where he organizes special lighting. However, the process of work was so carried away by the painter, and the result so pleased him that Monet did not want to part with any of his wonderful paintings. In museums, paintings began to be exhibited only after the death of the artist.