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Claude Monet, Water-Lilies, Setting Sun

Key facts
Full title Water-Lilies, Setting Sun
Artist Claude Monet
Artist dates 1840 - 1926
Date made about 1907
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 73 × 92.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Simon Sainsbury, 2006
Inventory number NG6608
Location Room 41
Collection Main Collection
Water-Lilies, Setting Sun
Claude Monet

During the final two decades of his life Monet devoted himself to painting the water garden he had created at his home in Giverny, producing around 250 innovative canvases. His paintings became increasingly experimental as he gradually abandoned depictions of the banks of the pond, its Japanese bridge and the traditional horizon line in order to concentrate on the subtle modulations of light as it transformed the water and the reflections of foliage and clouds.

In this painting the only hint to help situate the viewer is the clump of plants in the bottom left corner which indicates the approximate position of the bank. The pink and yellow rays of the setting sun shimmer on the pond. Our vision seems to oscillate between the surface of the water and the depths of the pond; between the horizontal lily pads and the dark vertical reflections of the weeping willows.

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