In 1893, Monet bought land adjacent to his property in Giverny and built a Japanese-inspired water garden. This contemplative environment served as inspiration for a series of paintings that occupied the artist for the last 20 years of his life. Typical of the series, the subject of this painting it is not so much the material presence of the lilies, but rather the reflections and movement of light and color on the pond’s surface. Monet intended this painting to be the right-hand segment of a triptych composed of three identically sized canvases. The monumental scale of these pictures combined with Monet’s bold brushwork and elimination of spatial context have led some critics and scholars to view them as precursors of Abstract Expressionism.