A vintage 1960 reproduction of Claude Monet's Water Lilies (Nymphéas), 1921. Professionally mounted on a creamy woven linen mat and custom framed in gold at 22.5" x 10.25".

Commentary accompanying the piece circa 1960:

After 1917 Monet used progressively larger canvases for the water-garden theme. Those of 1919-20 are almost fourteen feet wide and were sometimes combined to form diptychs and triptychs. Then single panels were expanded, as in the present work, to over nineteen feet.

Urged by Clemenceau, Monet had agreed to donate to France a selection of related water landscapes as a peace memorial. From that time forward, though tortured by self-doubt and the increased strain on his failing eyes, Monet continued to push forward canvas after canvas, ceasing only during the short period of virtual blindness just before his cataract operation in February 1923. "I no longer sleep because of them," he said in 1924. "In the night I am constantly haunted by what I am trying to realize. I rise broken with fatigue each morning. The coming of dawn gives me courage, but my anxiety returns as soon as I put foot in my studio. ... Painting is so difficult and torturing. Last autumn I burned six canvases along with the dead leaves from my garden. It is enough to make one give up hope. Nevertheless I should not like to die before having said everything that I had to say-or at least having tried to say it. And my days are numbered....Tomorrow, perhaps...."

This Water Lilies is one of the finest of the large works that remained in Monet's studio after his death. As in the early Water Garden at Giverny, the surface of the pond is established only by the careful placing of the lily pads.

Though the initial effect is one of waving expansion and randomness, study will reveal a stable horizontal that crosses the composition near its upper border, and below it, a delicate network of implied diagonals, horizontals, and verticals whose perspective is focused above the cluster of rose and white lilies at the upper left. Painted in immense brush gestures that embody their own identity at least as completely as their subject, the blossoms and pads float upon (or within) a surface both horizontal and vertical, flat and spatial. Beneath it, green, gold, and turquoise strokes merge with the lilac reflections of the sky; images from above and below are held in reciprocal tension; the atmosphere of air becomes identical with that of water. The spectator is wrapped within the encircling panorama, so that the constellations of lilies seem to hover above, as well as to lie below, his eyes.