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Monet’s Water Lilies: From Dawn to Dusk
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Monet Water Lilies: From Dawn to Dusk

Claude Monet found solace in nature. In 1915, when he began work on Water Lilies, it was against the backdrop of World War I. In this moment of death, destruction, and chaos all around him, he chose to focus on a verdant portion of his garden that demonstrated life. Setting his easel outside near his pond at his residence in Giverny, Monet observed the shifting shapes, colors, and shadows on the water’s surface amid the sounds of nature. He drew upon those sensory memories later in his studio while completing Water Lilies, hoping it would provide “a refuge of peaceful meditation.”

This immersive sound and light installation offers visitors a new way to experience the work, giving each of us a quiet space to restore our energy and endure, as Monet did, in the midst of difficulty.

A 10-minute light program that emulates the rise and fall of daylight will play every quarter-hour. The exhibition also features a short video of Monet painting in his garden at the outbreak of World War I.

Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Monet's Water Lilies
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), Water Lilies, about 1915–1926, Oil on canvas 79 × 167 3/4 inches (200.66 × 426.09 cm) Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 57-26.