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The Water Lily Pond

Claude Monet, a French Impressionist painter and founder of Impressionism, was known for his vivid depictions of nature through his art. He was raised in Normandy, so he was led to see plein-air paintings by Eugène Boudin, as the artist was born and raised there. Plein-air painting was another name for painting the outdoors, which Monet later became known for. Soon after, he joined Charles Gleyre’s Paris studio. Gleyre was was a Swiss academic history painter known for his anecdotal scenes. He met other future impressionists there, including Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, Alfred Sisley, and many others. Throughout his beginning years, Monet did not receive much recognition, as only some of his pieces were displayed in exhibitions, but not the ones he had pursued more aggressively. The dismissal of his meaningful art eventually caused Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Manet, and others to create an exhibition. One of Monet’s paintings in this exhibition faced much criticism, especially by Louis Leroy, who called it an “impression” because he thought that it seemed unfinished. This gave Monet the idea to name it Impressionism, Sunrise and pushed the artists to call themselves the “Impressionists.”

During the Impressionism movement, Monet created a piece that has become especially famous over the years called The Water Lily Pond. Throughout the 1980s, Monet became more successful than before, which resulted in him buying his estate and garden. The pond in the painting was in his garden in Giverny at one of his favorite parts, a Japanese bridge. Monet’s works were heavily influenced by Japanese art, specifically wood blocks. Another prominent theme throughout Monet’s artwork was waterlilies. He created around two-hundred and fifty pieces with them, making people think they might have had a deeper meaning for him. Some experts believe that it symbolized how Monet was now surrounded by inspiration for art and how it contained every aspect of his life. Others think they reflected the beauty of life and death. The flowers carried various colors and details, which could be seen as an analogy for the obstacles people experience. 

Monet transformed the art world by advocating for a unique change in art that no one had ever seen before.

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