Monet’s Water Lilies Inspire New Original Paintings

Key Takeaway: If you can’t get enough of Monet’s water lilies, you’re not alone. When it’s time to put them on your walls, consider whether you want to buy a sub-standard print of the real deal or buy a painting from a real artist who brings new life to a favorite subject.

Monet’s paintings of water lilies are well known. If you feel like your knowledge or your visual picture of these iconic paintings has some holes, check out this survey of his work by MyModernMet or dig a little deeper at Mental Floss.

Different Themes of Water Lilies

The Water Lilies is a series of roughly 250 paintings painted by Monet in his garden at Giverny. His gardens still exist, drawing fans and artists alike to pay homage to the location which birthed so many transfixing oil paintings.

I admit I wasn’t a fan of Monet until I went to L’Orangerie in Paris and experienced Les Nymphéas for myself. More than anything else, I was struck by the water. It was mind boggling to me that the water simultaneously looked so real and still painterly.

Les Nymphéas at L’Orangerie / Photo by Jessyca Frederick
Les Nymphéas at L’Orangerie / Photo by Jessyca Frederick

My big epiphany when I visited L’Orangerie is that The Water Lilies is not really about the lilies, but in fact it’s about the water and the light reflected by it. The lilies are lovely to be sure, but the setting of the garden, the way light moves around the garden, and the pond itself are captivating subjects, too.

Buying Monet’s Water Lilies for Your Home or Office

For many of us, our first foray into bringing art into our living spaces and workspaces involves framed posters — mine were paintings by Van Gogh and photographs by Ansel Adams purchased from a street vendor in my early 20s. Later, when we have a little more disposable income, we often look for wall art of better quality. My hope is that’s where you’re at, and why you’re reading this article.

Due to the immense popularity of Claude Monet and his Water Lily paintings, you have many choices when acquiring new Monet art for your walls.

Reproductions

I’m biased. I don’t want you to buy reproductions — the color is never right and they lack the lifelike quality an original painting offers. To demonstrate the problem with color in reproductions, here is a selection of works you can purchase that are either Giclee (inkjet print on canvas) or 4-color prints on paper (all colors are produced using only CMYK) of Monet’s original work. Can you tell which coloring is correct? I can’t. But I bet all three of them are inaccurate.

White Waterlilies by Claude Monet, 1889 at GreatBigCanvas
White Water Lilies by Claude Monet, 1889 at AllPosters
White Waterlilies by Claude Monet, 1889 at Framed Art

Original Paintings Like Monet

Assuming you can’t afford an original Monet, I would prefer you buy an original painting from one of the thousands of living artists who are inspired by the work of Monet at Giverny. In addition to adding a vibrant and beautiful work of art to your home or office, you’ll be supporting an artist. It is difficult to make a career as an artist and buying original art is the best way we can help keep creativity alive.

The Water Lilies — Most Monet-Like

The Water Lilies — Alternative Ideas

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