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Claude Monet. Water Lily Pond (Le Bassin aux Nymphéas).
1919. Oil on canvas, 100 × 201 cm. Private Collection of Paul G. Allen.
     More than any other artist in the Impressionist circle, Claude Monet never tired of exploring the movement down to its most basic elements. He'd methodically - albeit rapidly - paint the exact same scene over and over, the only variables being the angles of light, time of day and weather conditions. It is a testament to his patience and artistic mastery that these same scenes all came out distinctly different from one another.
     Here we see one of the numerous, large "waterlilies" for which Monet is so well-known today. He'd enlarged his pond in the gardens at Giverny for the final time in 1910, but was plagued afterward with depression over the death of his beloved wife, Alice (in 1914), increasingly problematic cataracts and the considerable distractions of WWI. By the time 1919 rolled around, he was bravely attempting to soldier on in an expanded studio, the walls of which were covered for 360-degrees with massive canvases meant for pictures of his pond. "Le Bassin aux Nymphéas" is one result of his determination to continue painting - regardless - until he drew his last breath.

 
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