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In 1916 Monet had a new studio built at Giverny in order to work on huge canvases; large-scale, close-up views of the surface of his water-lily pond. In 1918, the day after the Armistice was signed, the painter promised a group of the paintings to the French nation as a 'monument to peace'.  It was a war memorial, but of a personal, unprecedented kind.

Monet described his 'Water-Lilies' as 'producing the effect of an endless whole, of a watery surface with no horizon and no shore'. Distance and perspective are abolished; a limitless expanse of water occupies our entire field of vision. Closely related to that project, this monumental canvas was not included in Monet’s gift, which hangs today in the Orangerie of the Tuileries in Paris.