The French painter Claude Monet’s 250 water lily paintings are displayed in museums all around the world and across the United States. If you have never seen one, drop everything and head to a museum near you.
Monet painted his water lilies at his country retreat in northern France—the now famous Giverny—where he lived from the 1880s until his death in 1926. The gardens are the subject of an exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York.
The exhibit features the iconic view captured in Monet’s paintings of the foot bridge spanning his Japanese inspired water garden, as well as the pink stucco house at the end of the Grand Allee, which is lined by high columns of foxgloves, poppies, lupine, rose standards, iris and a riot of other spring flowers.
The water lilies (Nymphaea)—some descended from those at Monet’s garden—are in the reflecting pool just outside the Conservatory. Monet first became interested in water lilies when he saw a display of hardy, yet surprisingly colorful, cultivars being introduced in Europe for the first time at the 1889 Worlds’ Fair in Paris. I learned that Monet had his lilies removed each winter and rearranged the next Spring so that he could create new and pleasing arrangements to paint each year.
The show will run through Oct. 21, and the plants will be changed out as the seasons progress. I plan to go back to see what Monet had in his summer and fall gardens. Below are more photos I took at the show last week.
Dorian Winslow is the president of Womanswork, and is passionate about making the best products on the market for women who garden and work outdoors.
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