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In the 1890s, Monet developed a Japanese-style water-garden around the pond at his home in Giverny, north-west of Paris. The garden became an ‘outside studio’ for the artist, and the water-lilies floating on the surface of the pond became the principal motif of his later paintings. Filling the canvas, the pond becomes a world in itself, inspiring a sense of immersion in nature. At times verging on abstraction, the water-lily pictures are the culmination of Monet’s fascination with light and its changing effects on the natural environment.

November 2012