Waterlilies by Claude Monet, 1905

Contributed by National Museum Wales Cardiff

MONET, Claude (1840 - 1926), 'Waterlilies', oil on canvas, 1905. © National Museum Wales

Monet cultivated his own waterlilies and employed a gardener to dust and prune them to look perfect for painting.David Davies of Llandinam (1818-1890) was a self-made industrialist. He developed deep mining in the Rhondda Valley and made Barry docks the largest coal exporting docks in the world. His wealth was eventually inherited by his granddaughters, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, who were generous supporters of the arts with a profound social conscience. Their taste in fine art was particularly shrewd and foresighted as they amassed a collection of Impressionist paintings, drawings and sculpture of international importance. Most of their collection, including this painting of Waterlilies by Claude Monet, was either given or bequeathed to the National Museum of their native Wales.
One of the artist's most famous motifs, Monet painted his lily pond repeatedly over several years. Works such as this one demonstrate his idea of 'series' painting, where the vivid colours capture the atmospheric light effects of a specific season and time of day.

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