Nymphaea (Waterlily)

Claude Monet (1840-1926, French) developed a three-decade passion for waterlilies.  He painted them more than two hundred times beginning in 1899.  One gardener at Giverny was dedicated to the care of the waterlilies the artist planted.


Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, a bequest of Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954, American) is the most popular of Pennsylvania’s pleasure gardens. It collects and cultivates waterlilies among many other plants.


Ranjani Shettar (born 1977) is an Indian artist and artisan who works with natural and industrial materials to evoke the natural environments of India which are under threat now.





Tropical Night-Flowering Waterlily, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania




Bridge over a Pond of Waterlilies, 1899, oil on canvas.  Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY




Waterlilies, Japanese Footbridge, 1918-1926, oil on canvas.  Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

A rare palette for this artist.




Tropical Day-Flowering Waterlily, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania





The Waterlilies, 1905, oil on canvas. Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French.  Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. 



Triptych of waterlilies, Water Lilies, 1914-1926, oil on canvas, painted by Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French. MOMA, NY.  Photo from the net.


Monet triptych Waterlilies 1920Monet Waterlilies 1920-2Monet Waterlilies 1920-3Monet Waterlilies 1920-4Monet Waterlilies 1920-5Monet Waterlilies 1920-6Monet Waterlilies 1920-7

Detail of the triptych, Water Lilies, 1914-26

This triptych was bought by the museum  from the artist’s son, Michel Monet in 1959 following a widespread outpouring of grief at the destruction by fire of two of the artist’s waterlily paintings owned by the museum in April 1958







Seven Ponds and a Few Rain Drops, 2017, muslin, stainless steel, tamarind and natural dyes.  Ranjani Shettar, Indian born 1977.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY







Longwood Hybrid Waterplatters, hybridized by crossing seeds from 1961 onwards collected in South America



On the left prickly waterlily (Euryale ferox), native of Asia.  Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania



Red Stemmed Arrowhead, a plant in the plantain family, admiring the giant waterlilies.  Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania


4 thoughts on “Nymphaea (Waterlily)

    1. J’aime aussi leur nom: Nymphea. Monet, Manet, all of them: what geniuses……..Especially Cezanne whom I can never forget!

  1. When I was in grade school I used to bicycle up to Longwood and photograph the water lilies. I’ve never thought that Monet came even close to capturing them. The series of cut out holes in Ranjani Shettar’s piece remind me of a Lotus.

    1. I think the 230 plus times that Monet produced what he considered a completed waterlily painting is telling! It is interesting that virually every photo of the MOMA giant triptych, except MOMA’s, which you find on the net has the colours enhanced by the person who took the photo. Monet’s colours are somewhat dull and he seemed to want to want to de-emphasize the colours of the flowers because the colours are a distraction when you are trying to capture the effect of a collection of these wonderful plants!

      I understand your comment about Ranani Shettar’s piece. I must have decided that they are waterlilies because of the way she has spread them – they take up a sizeable room; and lotuses clump themselves and are upright.

      To all events, I have to say that it was good, for once, to see an artist who has not emigrated and that she is not, American, born India (yet?)

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