Water Lilies is a series of paintings by French impressionist artist Claude Monet painted over the course of his career. Monet completed approximately 250 paintings depicting water lilies from his flower garden at Giverny. They were the main focus of Monet’s artistic production during the last thirty years of his life. Many of the works were painted while Monet suffered from cataracts.
Monet is actually responsible for planting the water lilies in his garden to help inspire his work. He is quoted as saying “I’m good for nothing except painting and gardening.” Monet had the water lilies imported from Egypt and South America and angered the local authorities by doing so. He was asked to remove the water lilies from his garden, however he ignored their request. Good thing he didn’t or we would never have this beautiful art series.
Initially art critics were not very receptive to Monet’s Water Lilies series and called the painting messy and less about creative vision and more about Monet’s blurred vision as he dealt with failing sight. It was not until the 1950’s when museum curators rediscovered Monet and gave him the due credit for leading the way for fashionable art. By 1955, the Museum of Modern Art had purchased their first Monet from this series, and it quickly became one of the famed museum’s most popular holdings.