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In 1905, urged by the artist Childe Hassam, Metcalf spent the summer at Connecticut’s Lyme Art Colony painting en plein air (out of doors), Giverny, home of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet.
One of twenty-two landscapes Metcalf completed his first summer at the colony, Pond Lilies is packed with the sights and impressions of a summer’s day: lush foliage and blossoming lilies, a tiny frog leaping from a lily pad, and the dissipating circles of an insect landing on water. One critic remarked that Metcalf “connives to translate into paint the freshness and fragrance of fields, gardens and evening air. It is nature, rather than the studio, of which he apprises us.”

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