Jean Nicolas Laugier (French; 1785–1875) after Louis Hersent (French; 1777–1860)
Daphnis et Chloé = Daphnis and Chloe
Etching and engraving, on chine collé
The British Museum, London | © The Trustees of the British Museum


Claude Monet became obsessed with the water lilies of his garden in Giverny since 1889. They became the subject of nearly all of his works in the last thirty years of his life, completing over 250 paintings of the water lilies. They were painted in different lighting conditions during the day as well as different seasons provided by French weather. 

It was during this time in his life that Monet was suffering from cataracts which affected what his saw and inevitably what he painted. After surgery to address his cataracts, it has been suggested that Monet was then able to see ultraviolet rays not usually perceived by the human eye which had then changed the colours he saw.

Monet was fascinated by the surface of the pond and how its colour interacted with the sky and water lilies. Other subjects included his Japanese bridge. Overall, these impressionist paintings were rendered on all sorts of sized cavases, including multi-panel murals found in the MoMA and Musee de l'Orgerie and have become some of the most known works of the famous French impressionist.