Arts Everyday Living: What Do You Know About Monet, Final Act-Waterlilies, Zenith of His Art

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1906, oil on canvas, Mr. and Mrs Martin A. Ryerson, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Water Lilies, 1906

Claude Monet (1840-1926)



Did you know that Claude Monet began his career as a teenager and continued to create until his death at 86 in 1926? Most of us are familiar with Monet’s iconic Impressionist works. However Monet, like any great artist, expressed himself in multiple styles. So for the next month, experience the artistic world of the French master, from the young, aspiring painter to one of the most famous figures of his day.

Monet: The Finale

If Monet reviewed his long career, from teenager to elder artist, would he have been as astounded as posterity? His endless artistic quest from the cliffs of Normandy to the river banks of the Seine, the meadows of the French countryside to the skyline of London. Withstanding the challenges of the weather, rain, snow, and glaring sun, while always searching for the perfect color, the truest light, and the  elusive tones of the atmosphere. Sometimes a human model like his wife Camille would inspire him with her beauty and overall allure, yet landscape (as well as the sea) ultimately beckoned Monet to fulfill that creative vision great masters are driven to pursue.

So then do the hundreds of waterlilies that Monet painted during the last quarter century of his 86 year old life, represent the zenith of his powers? Elegant islands of multi-colored flowers (as seen in the work above) subtly moving past us. Mesmerizing in effect, extending in various directions across the surface of the pond–right, left, up and down–no longer confined by the spacial limitations of a traditional canvas. For Monet, now in his sixties, dares to eliminate all boundaries, concerned only with portraying the infinite universe of the waterlilies he cultivated and loved.

Would you like to view Monet’s Japanese bridge? See our blog, click below.





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