How To Read Paintings: Monet’s Water Lilies

Amorphous and puzzling paintings that gain more meaning by looking

Christopher P Jones

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Water Lily Pond (1917–19) by Claude Monet. Image source Wiki Art

When standing in front of a water lily painting by Claude Monet, you have the sense that a moment of magic is about to take place. Here is a painting that is many feet wide and six feet high, an expanse of misty, vibrating colour that fills your field of vision.

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