One of the most recognisable motifs of Impressionism – the Japanese bridge over the water lily pond in Monet’s garden at Giverny – is the subject of this spectacular painting, on loan to the gallery this summer from the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1890, Monet, a keen gardener, purchased the house at Giverny he renovated since 1883, renovating the grounds and building a spectacular lake with two Japanese-style bridges, which he promised would be ‘agreeable and for the pleasure of the eyes’.
The lake, its lilies and bridges, would preoccupy him for much of the rest of his life – in the summers of 1899 and 1900, Monet worked on no fewer than 18 version of this view. This canvas in one of Monet’s most luminescent masterpieces.
Image: Claude Monet, ‘Water Lily Pond’, 1900 © Mr and Mrs Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago