At the end of the 1800’s, Claude Oscar Monet and his wife Alice were looking for a house for them and their combined eight children. They fell in love with the small town of Giverny and rented a property with a house and a garden – that later on, they were able to buy. During the last phase of the Impressionist’s career, his greatest inspiration was the lively and colorful garden he created, calling it his greatest masterpiece.
This represented his most successful period, selling his paintings in all of Europe and even in the U.S.A. The financial security made it possible for Monet to hire many housekeepers and as many as six gardeners to help maintain his natural creation, which was in constant change and renewal. In this area, he planted many trees, colorful flowers, and even built a Japanese bridge over a pond. The Impressionists, in general, were deeply influenced by the woodcut prints of the Japanese artists and referenced these aesthetic values in their paintings.
Monet concluded an enormous amount of paintings portraying his garden, and also a series of about 250 oil paintings of his beloved water lilies, including Red Water Lilies. The artist initially had problems with the city council for importing and planting non-native lilies from South America and Northern Africa, but he ignored the authorities. During this period, Monet started developing cataracts, which influenced his way of painting – not well seen by the art critics of the time – and influenced Abstract Expressionism in the mid-1950’s.
The painting Red Water Lilies portray the lilies over a flat surface, almost as if they were floating in the sky. Monet used a blue and violet base, not covering the whole canvas. Over the water, the Impressionist painted the leaves with loose brush strokes and shades of green. He also painted dark contours on the flat leaves, an aesthetic influence from the Japanese woodcut prints.
The red and pink lilies are the central figures of this painting, having about half a dozen more detailed flowers in the forefront. Many other lilies were portrayed more in the distance with simple small stokes of pink – some of the pigment seems to have blended with the blue background, creating a violet-pink flower. The top right corner and bottom edge of the canvas show areas of light and reflex in shades of yellow and pink, creating a beautiful harmony with the rest of the painting.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
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