Water Lilies Series By Claude Monet



2015-06-26 10:35:05

Water Lilies or Nympheas is a series of oil paintings in the region of two hundred and fifty made by French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840 – 1926).


Impressionism was a movement in the 19th century that started with a group of artists from Paris whose autonomous displays brought them to fame during the 1870s and 1880s. The name was coined from a name of Claude Monet work, Impression soleil levant which meant impression, sunrise.


The paintings portray Monet’s flower garden at Giverny and became Monet’s main artistic focal point during his last thirty years before death. Actually many of works were painted at a time when he was suffering from cataracts. Monet’s career long serial motif (an aspect of a pattern, an image or a theme which may be repeated in a drawing or just occur once) of creating and displaying a series of paintings correlated by subject and perception started in 1889 with no less than ten paintings done at the Valley of Creuse, which were displayed at the Galerie Georges Petit. His other renowned series are the Haystacks.


Claude Monet used the oil technique to paint his work. Oil painting is the method of painting with pigments (materials that alter the color of reflected light due to wavelength-selective absorption) that are combined with a drying oil medium.


An article in the New York Times expressed doubts if the Water Lilies series was ever completed. The government of France took the Water Lilies series and installed them in specially constructed galleries at the Orangerie in Paris where they remain even today. However, most of the art enthusiasts who view them claim that they portray artistic genius of an impressionist.

Value and notable auction sales

On 19 June 2007 at Sotheby’s auction in London UK, one of Claude Monet’s paintings was sold for £18.5 million. Another of Monet’s paintings, Le basin aux nympheas was sold at Christie’s in London on June 24 2008 approximately for £41 million. In May 2010, it was publicized that the 1906 Nympheas work was going to be auctioned in the following month in London at a projected price of £30 to £40 million.

The director of Christie’s auction house who is the head of impressionist and modern art, Giovanna Bertazzoni said that Monet’s water lily paintings are along with others the most renowned and distinguished works of the 20th century and were enormously significant to many of the artists in the future generations. The auction was held on 23 June 2010 at the auction house and the painting engrossed bids of up to £29 million. However it failed to sell.

Appearances at Exhibitions

Monet’s paintings are on display at museums world over including the Musee Marmottan Monet which is in Paris, the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nantes and the Portland Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the saint Louis Museum,the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the National Museum of Wales.

This exhibit opened on 16 may 1927 shortly after Monet’s death. In 1999; sixty water lily paintings from all over the world were brought together for a special display at the Musee de l’Oranerie. In the 1920s, France put up two oval rooms at the Musee de l’Oranerie as a lasting home for eight water lily murals painted by Monet.

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