• Results 1
Water Lilies
  • Artist Claude Monet (French, 1840 - 1926)
  • TitleWater Lilies
  • Dating 1907
  • Technique/MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions106 x 73,5 cm
    Ram: 129 x 96 x 10 cm
  • AcquisitionBequest of Gerda Sigvaldason, 1988
  • Art MovementImpressionism
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 2232
  • Display StatusOn display in The French Collection II (Room 29)
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
Water Lilies belongs to Monet’s late, evocative style. The almost scientific method that Monet had previously brought to his accounts of reality has here given way to a more subjective approach to Nature, in a style of painting that has a far deeper resonance.

The whole of this vertical composition is taken up with the still water’s surface, in which the surrounding trees’ bulk and the flaming twilight sky are reflected. The rippling vertical lines of the trees’ reflections are broken by floating islands of water lilies, grouped in horizontal forms across the surface. No water’s edge or sky is visible. With its muted colours, the painting creates a melancholy, autumnal atmosphere. The day, like the summer, is coming to an end. The association is with life in its autumn years.

Water Lilies was painted in 1907, the year of Pablo Picasso’s The Young Ladies of Avignon, which is often taken as marking the birth of Modernism. Monet was one of the artists who laid the foundations of Modernism; however, unlike many of the Modernists, Monet persisted with his close observations of reality. This did not prevent him from moving towards abstraction, which reached its apogee in his suite of large water lily paintings for the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, which he worked on until his death in 1926. The Water Lilies in the Gothenburg Museum of Art is one of a series of fifteen canvases, all vertical compositions, that marked out his development in this direction. Water Lilies is both a seductive reproduction of Nature and a profound abstraction of the motif, where the image itself is emphasized in a way that foreshadows the Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s.

Kristoffer Arvidsson from The Collection Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014