Monet: The Water Garden at Giverny

Date and time

Throughout 2015

Room 43

Tickets

This is not a ticketed event. Admission free

In 1918, the day after the Armistice was signed, Monet promised a group of paintings to the French nation as a 'monument to peace'. Known as the 'Water-Lilies', they continue to captivate visitors almost a century later.

Claude Monet lived at Giverny, Normandy, for half of his long life; during his final decades, he almost exclusively painted the garden filled with water-lilies he had created there. A keen horticulturist, he intended the space 'for the pleasure of the eyes and also for the purpose of having subjects to paint'.

The garden provided an infinity of motifs to be observed from various viewpoints and with a constantly changing play of light and reflections on the water's surface.

Monet conceived plans for an ambitious cycle of monumental decorative pictures capturing the effect of his water garden. These changeable, richly atmospheric images of 'silent dead waters reflecting spreading flowers' are imbued with a mysterious, melancholic intensity.

They water-lily series was started during the First World War, a time of tragedy for Monet: the loss of his wife and son, his declining eyesight, the international conflict. Monet’s near-abstract pictures, where forms dissolve to the point of disintegration, can be seen as his response to personal and public devastation. 

This display highlights the National Gallery's exceptional holdings of Monet's Giverny pictures, shown together for the first time in 17 years.

Learn more about the paintings in the display:

Painting
Claude Monet
1899
Claude-Oscar Monet: 'The Water-Lily Pond'
Painting
Claude Monet
after 1916
Claude-Oscar Monet, Water-Lilies
Painting
Claude Monet
about 1907
Claude-Oscar Monet: 'Water-Lilies, Setting Sun'
Painting
Claude Monet
about 1914-17
Claude-Oscar Monet: 'Irises'
Painting
Claude Monet
1896
Claude-Oscar Monet: 'Flood Waters'
Painting
Claude Monet
1894
Claude-Oscar Monet: 'The Seine at Port-Villez'