Claude Oscar Monet moved to a small town called Giverny, searching the calm life close to nature in the countryside. The artist was married to Alice Hoschede, as his wife Alice had recently passed. This was a significant time for Monet, and the drastic changes in his life had a direct impact on his work. The artist and his wife moved together, along with their combined eight children, in a house with a large garden, where Monet spent the rest of his life. The garden he created became – what he called – his greatest masterpiece.
After a period of financial instability, Monet began to gain recognition and sold paintings all over Europe and North America. He was able to buy his house in Giverny, that was rented, and also hire housekeepers and many gardeners to maintain his living creation. The garden was a spectacular display of nature, with an abundance of vegetation, including tall trees and vibrant flowers. Many Impressionists were inspired by the Japanese art, mainly the woodcut prints that came to Europe. These artworks brought subjects of the daily life and nature.
The Oriental influence inspired Monet to build a Japanese bridge over the pond in his garden, which was one of the painters favorite subject to portray – concluding about 250 paintings of it. The exotic water lilies were imported from South America e Northern Africa. The artwork Yellow And Lilac Water Lilies is an example of the artist’s passion for his paradise. This particular painting has moss green, violet, and purple-blue water. The light green lilies float and are more defined on the background. The top right corner shows some dark vegetation hanging on the banks and casting a reflection on the water. The flowers and leaves on the forefront create a fantastical mix of light green, blue, yellow and purple.
During this period, the artist was diagnosed with cataracts, impairing his eyesight and affecting the way he painted. This was frowned upon by critics but was a great inspiration to the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950’s. Painting water lilies gave Monet the liberty to experiment with different colors, even when his vision loss prevented him from seeing the landscape completely. As an Impressionist, he was interested in representing what he saw, even if that didn’t match the reality.
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