“It took me a long time to understand my water lilies…. I grew them without thinking of painting them…. And then, all of a sudden, I had the revelation of the enchantment of my pond. I took up my palette.”
Monet’s garden was his inspiration in his later years and it is a real delight to welcome ‘A Water Lily Pond’ to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, for a short stay.
This is such a beautiful and tranquil scene: the depth of colour makes you feel that you are standing on the edge of the pond, gazing into the shadows formed by the willow in the background. Pink, white and red of the flowers of the water lilies dot across the surface and where there are breaks, the water reflects back the foliage. The technique that defined Impressionism is in abundance here. Wet on dry gives the shapes of the flowers and the daubs are thickly applied.
The angle of this painting causes your eye to travel up and over the bridge and into another part of the garden outside the canvas, so it is easy to imagine yourself in Giverny.
The work is with the gallery until 10th September.
For a detailed look at the painting, this link to the online catalogue at AIC is an excellent resource.