Claude Monet. Water Lilies. 1914-26 8

Oil on canvas, three panels, Each 6' 6 3/4" x 13' 11 1/4" (200 x 424.8 cm), overall 6' 6 3/4" x 41' 10 3/8" (200 x 1276 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund

Artist and Gardner, Elizabeth Murray: Hello, I'm Elizabeth Murray and I'm an artist and a gardener. And I started working in Monet's garden in 1985.

Monet thought, I want to paint the beauty and tranquility of my water lily garden and maybe I could create these paintings that would go around the room and people could walk in and be surrounded by the light.

And here we have one right in front of us. We can see underneath the water, grasses are flowing and moving and we can see the water lilies that are floating on the surface of the water. We can see the reflection of clouds and these clouds are not just white puffy clouds—they have lavender and pink. And then the water itself is not just blue or green. It is purple and turquoise.

As a gardener, I have had the great fortune of being able to stand at Monet's pond. Early in the morning there are lots of frogs. It is amazing how much noise they make, and how many birds that sing there. And if you're real quiet you'll hear fish jumping. There's ducks that jump in and they eat the bugs off the water lily pads or they're diving in and getting some small fish or a little snail. And so it's really a place of great liveliness.

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