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“Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond” by Claude Monet (MoMA, NYC)

WLA moma Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond Monet

“Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond” by Claude Monet

“Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond” by Claude Monet is a monumental triptych portraying of a water-lily pond, from Monet’s garden in Giverny, with the sky and clouds reflecting off the lily pond. Monet’s aim was to give:

“the illusion of an endless whole, of water without horizon or bank.”

Monet attempted to capture the continually changing qualities of light, colour, water, sky and lilies by dissolving all the elements in:

“the refuge of peaceful meditation in the centre of a flowering aquarium.”

Claude Monet painted nearly 250 painting in his series of “Water Lilies”.  The paintings depict Monet’s flower garden at his home in Giverny and were the main focus of Monet’s artistic production during the last thirty years of his life. Many of the works were painted while Monet suffered from cataracts. His “Water Lilies” paintings can be found in many museums across the globe.

Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting Impression, “soleil levant” or “Impression, Sunrise”, which was exhibited in 1874. Monet adopted a method of painting in which he painted the same scene many times to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. Monet is known for having produced a series of paintings all versions of the same subject and perspective. Examples include his series of the “Valley of the Creuse” series and his famous series of “Haystacks” and “Water Lilies” paintings.

From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where at his home, he developed a garden landscape which included the lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings, with the water lilies as the main feature. This series occupied him for the last 20 years of his life.

Exploring Claude Monet


  • Which is your favourite painting of the Water-Lilies?
  • Which is your favourite Monet series?
    • The Houses of Parliament
    • Water Lilies
    • Valley of the Creuse
    • Haystacks
    • Grand Canal, Venice
    • Rouen Cathedral

Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond

  • Title:              Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond
  • Artist:            Claude Monet
  • Year:              1920
  • Medium:       Oil on canvas, three panels
  • Dimensions:
    • Each Panel6′ 6 3/4″ x 13′ 11 1/4″ (200 x 424.8 cm)
    • Overall 6′ 6 3/4″ x 41′ 10 3/8″ (200 x 1276 cm)
  • Museum:     MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Claude Monet


“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand,
when it is simply necessary to love.”

– Claude Monet


Photo Credit: 1) By Wikipedia Loves Art participant “trish” [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons