The National Gallery, London
As a young man he absorbed the concept of the ‘picturesque’ landscape, an aesthetic with its origins in 18th-century England, which found particular beauty in old buildings placed in rustic settings. Monet painted the Normandy coastline, countryside, and villages throughout his career, interspersed with trips further afield.
A keen horticulturist, he intended the space 'for the pleasure of the eyes and also for the purpose of having subjects to paint'. By diverting the flow of the Epte, a tributary of the Seine, to run through his property Monet transformed a swampy area on the other side of the railway tracks into a water garden with a pond over which he built a Japanese-style bridge. His garden at Giverny became the focus of his art until his death in 1926.