Claude Monet (1840-1926) would leave behind some 200 paintings of the waterlily pond he had built at his home in Giverny, which were painted from about 1899 to the year of the artist’s death. These works were unique in that Monet composed them solely of an expanse of water, as if cut out of the pond’s surface, with no horizon or waterline and no sky— elements normally considered essential parts of a landscape painting. In this painting of the pond surface dotted with waterlilies, the branches of the weeping willows and poplars that line the banks of the pond are reflected in deep green running down the right and left sides of the canvas, while the sky is reflected as a light green expanse in the center. It is a mysterious world in which waterlilies floating on the pond and the trees and skies reflected on the pond’s surface exist together and reality intersects with illusion, all within the quintessential flatness of the water surface. In the year Monet painted this painting, he also worked on about 15 paintings of similar composition in vertical format and canvas size. From the difference in the colors used in these works, we see Monet’s signature method of painting the same scene in different lights at different times of day.


  • Title: Waterlilies
  • Date Created: 1907
  • Title (Japanese): 睡蓮
  • Physical Dimensions: w73.5 x h92.5 cm
  • Painter: Claude Monet
  • Object Notes (Japanese): クロード・モネ(1840-1926)は1899年頃より没年まで、自邸の庭に造った睡蓮の池を描き、200点以上の作品を残しました。その大きな特徴は、水面の一角を切り取るように描き、地平線や水平線、空など、従来の風景画に不可欠な要素を除いて、画面を構築したことです。ここでは睡蓮の花の点在する水面の左側と右側に、対岸に立つポプラとしだれ柳が濃緑の影を落とし、その間には空の映り込んだ明るい緑色の部分が広がっています。水面という限りなく平たい対象と、水面に浮かぶ睡蓮、そして映りこんだ景色の奥行きが共存し、虚実の交錯する不思議な世界です。同じ年にモネは、本作とほぼ同構図でサイズも似通った縦長のフォーマットの作品を約15点手がけています。色調の異なるそれらは、画家が同じ景色を時間帯によるさまざまな陽光の変化の下で描いたことを伝えています。
  • Medium (Japanese): 油彩、カンヴァス
  • Artist Name (Japanese): クロード・モネ
  • Type: painting
  • Rights: Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, http://kawamura-museum.dic.co.jp/en/about_site.html
  • External Link: Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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