Claude Oscar Monet portrayed his precious lily pond in Water Lilies, Green Harmony, during the year 1914. The artist, his wife Alice, and their combined eight children moved to the small town of Giverny during the end of the 1800s. At the time, many other modern artists wished to flee from the big city rush of Paris and moved to the countryside. Monet would adventure through different landscapes looking for inspiring scenes to portray, but in his new home, he was able to create a breathtaking landscape of his own – his garden.
This period was a mark for his career, as he was struggling to support his large family. Very soon he began to sell paintings all around Europe and even overseas. The artist was able to hire housekeepers to help his wife with the children, as well as many gardeners that tended to his garden daily. Monet’s passion for his garden grew along with it, as it features tall trees, colorful flowers and an abundance of vegetation. The artist even built a Japanese bridge over his pond and imported rare water lilies from Northern Africa and South America, ignoring the authority’s warnings.
The water lily pond and the Japanese bridge became an ongoing theme for Monet’s work, as he concluded over 250 oil paintings of them, including Water Lilies, Green Harmony. He portrays the same scene in a variation of colors, giving each one a unique atmosphere. Many artists were influenced by Oriental culture, specifically by the Japanese woodcut prints. Eventually, the artist began to develop cataracts, which impacted his way of painting, giving it an almost abstract atmosphere – something that was not well seen by the art critics of the time. Even though the abstraction was not intentional, Monet’s later work inspired the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950’s.
The painting Water Lilies, Green Harmony portrays colorful floating lilies on a mysterious surface. Monet used a dark blue base and drenched it with affluent green areas. Over the water, the Impressionist painted the vegetation with loose brush strokes and beautiful shades of pink, yellow, red, violet, and white – similar to the painting Water Lilies27. This painting only portrays the pond, giving a sense of two-dimensionality – an aesthetic characteristic Monet works with throughout his career.
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