French artist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) lived in Giverny, northwest of Paris, France.
In 1893, Monet acquired a piece of land situated at the end of his house and flower garden, the Clos Normand. The new block of land was on the other side of the railway line, and diverts the Ru, which is a narrow arm of the river Epte. He created the pond that he called the “Jardin d’Eau” (the Water Garden).
Monet had a Japanese bridge constructed, painted green, to distinguish it from the red traditionally used in Japan. The planted oriental plants, such as bamboos, ginkgos biloba, maple trees, Japanese peonies, white lilies and weeping willows. Lastly, Monet planted nymphéas – water lilies – in the pond: “I love water, but I also love flowers. That’s why, once the pond was filled with water, I thought of embellishing it with flowers. I just took a catalogue and chose at random, that’s all.”
In 1897, he started to paint the “Nymphéas” series, which can be seen at the Musée de l’Orangerie (the Orangery Museum) in Paris on the grounds of the Tuileries in the 1st arrondissement.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls