Collection 1880s–1940s


Claude Monet’s Water Lilies



Claude Monet. Water Lilies. 1914–26. Oil on canvas, three panels, each 6' 6 3/4" × 13' 11 1/4" (200 × 424.8 cm), overall 6' 6 3/4" × 41' 10 3/8" (200 × 1276 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 515 The David Geffen Wing

In 1915 Claude Monet built a large studio near his house in Giverny, a town northwest of Paris, for the creation of what he would call his grandes décorations. These works depict the elaborate lily pond and gardens that Monet had created on his property. He captured this subject matter in more than 40 large-scale panels and scores of smaller related canvases between 1914 and 1926, the year of his death.

In 1955 The Museum of Modern Art became the first museum in the United States to acquire one of the large-scale panels. MoMA curators’ interest in Monet at that time had much to do with currents in contemporary art: the grand scale and allover compositions of Abstract Expressionist paintings by artists such as Jackson Pollock made Monet’s large paintings newly relevant. Since then the Water Lilies have held a cherished position in the Museum, affirming Monet’s conviction that art can provide a respite from an increasingly urban, commercialized, and technological world.

Organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Lydia Mullin, Charlotte Barat and Jennifer Harris, Curatorial Assistants, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

3 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].