By: I. Fischer
At first glance, the work may seem to be solely composed of careless brushstrokes and dabs. However if you take a few steps back, a beautiful and realistic image will start to form in front of you. The waterlilies aren’t drawn in lines exactly, but they have enough form to be understood and distinguishable from each other. The colors in the composition aren’t bold, but they are very bright and soothing. They almost seem to blend into each other.
In regards to light and shadow, the light seems to be shinning in the middle of the painting, and in the corners of the composition the colors have a darker shade. We can see a pattern with the waterlilies and their reflection in the water. Even though it is a large painting it doesn’t have a background, as the artist, Monet, decided to only focus on painting his subject matter- the water lilies. Therefore it can be said that the waterlilies were emphasized, whereas the water was subdued in comparison.
Moreover, it’s exceedingly clear the artist thought of balance when creating the piece, in regards to the lightness of the colors and in relation to the space used in the composition. Additionally, the negative space was very well thought of, as it has the same texture that the brushstrokes created on the positive space, which made the painting very harmonious.
Monet reworked the Water Lilies from 1914 until his death. He worked on this piece from his lush garden in Giverny, in which he would paint the same views in different hours, in order to capture how the light differed through tour the day. His observations on light definitely translate into this work, which led to an extraordinary piece. The Water Lilies were a part of Monet’s “grandes décorations”, which consisted of large paintings based on things from nature, such as the sky, water and fauna. According to a quote from www.visual-arts-cork.com, Monet revealed that “these landscapes of water and reflections have become an obsession.”
Personally, this is one of my favorite works of art. The reason I like it so much is probably due to how delicate and otherworldly it seems. The light lavender color of the reflection of the clouds in the water are really lovely, they really blend into the piece. For me, this piece transmits a sensation of tranquility and acceptance. I think it emits a feeling of acceptance because it shows how a work that isn’t perfect or realistic can still be perceived as extremely beautiful.