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Claude Monet, 'Flood Waters', 1896

Key facts
Full title Flood Waters
Artist Claude Monet
Artist dates 1840 - 1926
Date made 1896
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 71 × 91.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1958
Inventory number NG6278
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Flood Waters
Claude Monet

Torrential rain in autumn 1896 caused extensive flooding near Monet’s home in Giverny. The river Epte, a tributary of the Seine, burst its banks and overflowed into the meadow next to Monet’s garden.

Obliged to remain close to home, Monet painted the view of the waterlogged landscape that he saw in front of him, including the row of pollarded willows that stood on the edge of the meadow. The tree branches are brushed in with fine, rapid strokes and fluid sweeps of soft colour in the sky and the water reveal his interest in atmospheric harmony. The picture appears to be unfinished, and may have been painted on the spot. The canvas has been left bare in areas at the top and bottom, adding to the impression that it is a quickly made sketch. It may be a study for another picture, perhaps painted in the studio, now in a private collection in Switzerland.

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