The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 26, 2018

Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c.1915-1926

oil on canvas, Framed: 204.9 x 430.3 x 6 cm (80 5/8 x 169 3/8 x 2 5/16 in.); Unframed: 201.3 x 425.6 cm (79 1/4 x 167 1/2 in.). John L. Severance Fund and an anonymous gift 1960.81

Monet spent the last thirty years of his life painting the lily pond at his home in Giverny, a small town on the river Seine, just north of Paris. While his initial exploration of the water lily theme (1902-8) produced smaller works more descriptive of a garden setting, the later paintings focus on the water's shimmering surface, indicating the surrounding trees and lush bank only through reflections. Here reflection and reality merge in strokes of blue, violet, and green. Fronds of water plants sway underwater and passing clouds are reflected above. By 1915 Monet had conceived a plan, called his Grande Décoration, for arranging a series of monumental water lily paintings in an oval room, thus creating a continuous panorama that would surround and enclose the viewer in an environment of pure color. That installation is located in two oval rooms in the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. Cleveland's painting is the left panel of a three-part variation on this water lily theme. Its companions are now in the St. Louis Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Estate stamp lower left: Claude Monet

City Art Museum of St. Louis; Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Claude Monet: A Loan Exhibition (1957), no. 93, 38 (repr.), as 1919-22. CMA. Paths of Abstract Art (1960), 24, no. 42, pl. VI. CMA. Fifty Years of Modern Art (1966), no. 18 (repr.), as ca. 1919-26. Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Dayton Art Institute; cma. Color and Field 1890-1970 (1970-71), no. 17, 14 (repr.), as 1919-22. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Saint Louis Art Museum. Monet's Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism (1978), no. 76 (repr.), as 1919-26. cma; Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art; Saint Louis Art Museum. Monet Waterlilies Triptych (1980), the three panels were reunited in this exhibition; no cat. was published. See CMA Bulletin 67 (June 1980): 189. CMA. Creativity in Art and Science (1987), no. 4 (repr.), as 1919-22. The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/21/2005 - 09/11/2005); "CMA Highlights" The Cleveland Museum of Art (2/18/07 - 5/28/07); "Monet in Normandy", exh. cat. no. 62, pp. 178, color repr. p. 178. CMA (organizer). Cleveland Museum of Art, Oct. 21, 2007- January 13, 2008: "Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art" Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (4/9/2011 - 8/7/2011), Saint Louis Art Museum (10/2/2011 - 1/22/2012), and the Cleveland Museum of Art (3/1/2015 - 6/7/2015): "Monet's Water Lilies" The Cleveland Museum of Art (10/11/2015 - 1/5/2016); "Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse" Royal Academy of Art (1/30/2016 - 4/17/2016); "Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse" catalogue no. 139, p. 290

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