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Water Lilies

Claude Monet, French, 1840–1926
Oil on canvas
Made in
Giverny, Haute-Normandie, Western Europe, France, Europe
Current Location
On View, Gallery 218
78 3/4 in. × 13 ft. 11 3/4 in. (200 × 426.1 cm)
framed: 80 5/8 in. × 14 ft. 1 1/2 in. × 2 5/8 in. (204.8 × 430.5 × 6.7 cm)
Credit Line
The Steinberg Charitable Fund
Public Domain
Object Number
Clusters of lilies float on a watery surface composed of violets, blues, and greens in this mural–sized painting by Claude Monet. For twenty–five years Monet obsessively illustrated the aquatic flower at various times of day from his home at Giverny in northern France. This canvas originally formed the centerpiece of a triptych or three–panel work. When installed with its counterparts from The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, the large–scale paintings envelop the viewer in a seemingly infinite field of subtle hues and intangible beauty.
- 1926
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Giverny, France [1]

1926 - 1950
Michel Monet (1877-1966), Giverny, France, by inheritance from the artist [2]

1950 -
Katia Granoff, Paris, France, purchased from Michel Monet [3]

- 1956
Knoedler's, London, England; New York, NY, USA; Paris, France

1956 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Knoedler's, New York, NY [4]

This painting constituted the center part of a triptych, which was separated in 1956 when it was sold at Knoedler's. The left panel of the composition was sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, and the right panel was purchased by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

[1] An estate stamp on the back of the painting indicates that it was in the possession of Claude Monet until his death in 1926.

[2] The artist's son, Michel, inherited the triptych, and it remained in his possession until 1950 ["Connaissance des Arts" 172 (June 1966), p. 57].

[3] Michel Monet sold the triptych to the art dealer Katia Granoff, Paris. When the triptych was later sold to Knoedler's, the three panels were ultimately separated [Wildenstein, Daniel. "Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné." Lausanne, Paris: La Bibliothèque des arts, 1985, vol. IV., cat. no. 1976].

[4] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and the Advisory Committee of the City Art Museum, December 13, 1956.
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