Monet studied his own creation for many decades, initially with fuller compositions that took in a wide angle of his garden, before then working on more intimate views of specific plants or a smaller cross section of the surface of his pond. It was almost his version of the same movement towards abstraction that occured later on in the 20th century, in the careers of artists such as Miro and Mondrian. It also helps to illustrate the point about how the Impressionist movement was groundbreaking and also helped to open the way for the modern art styles that appeared in the years that followed. Monet was entirely able to produce realistic depictions but he just preferred to work more freely, connecting with his emotions and placing them onto the canvas. This approach proved popular with the art public, after the academics initially rejected these new techniques.
Irises and water lilies feature throughout his garden, and therefore appear also in his many paintings that were based on this stunning setting that the artist spent many years developing. Having moved into the house in Giverny, he decided to expand the outdoor area and continue to learn more about gardening, which was his other passion in life. The extra land was set aside for a water feature and this area would become his favourite. He produced around 250 paintings here, spread over a number of decades and as he got older he would spend more and more time outside in his garden. His japanese bridge has become famous around the world because of these paintings and one can also say that few artists have done more to promote the beauty of a plant than Monet did for water lily flowers. Those who visit the garden in person will see the same angles from which he worked, but the reality is not quite as stunning as the paintings that he produced, whilst not withstanding the beauty of this environment.
All-in-all, Water-Lily Pond with Irises is another fine example of how gardening and art can combine to produce extraordinary results. One cannot imagine someone with both passions spending such an amount of time and effort in constructing this area, and it is pleasing that the garden remains well cared for today. It can serve the dual purpose of interesting younger generations in the merits of both art and horticulture, particularly at a time when society has become so obsessed with technology and also many other indoor pursuits that may not be as healthy for us in the long term. You will find many other iterations from his water lily series also included within this website and we have attempted to include all the main styles that he incorporated across his lifetime, such as the close-up ones here.