Water Lilies

Claude Monet created a series of paintings known by which of the following titles?

Considering Four Dancers, Water Lilies, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and Sunflowers, the answer is: Water Lilies.    

Born in 1840, Claude Monet was a French artist and founder of the Impressionist movement. He created several series of paintings, including Haystacks and Houses of Parliament, but is best known for his extensive series of 250 oil paintings of water lilies.

Photo credit: Museums of the World

As the mastermind to the Impressionist art movement, Claude Monet was a self-made artistic genius. From a young age, Monet was drawn to painting, and though he grew up in a modest family of French grocers, he knew he was destined to be an artist. Upon moving to La Havre in Normandy, he met landscape artist Eugène Boudin, who soon introduced him to the wonders of painting outdoors. Painting outdoors had been practiced by artists for decades, but most frequently in the form of sketches.

Monet took it a step further. The artist would set up his easel outside and create an entire work, from start to finish. Finding traction in his work, Monet was persuaded by his family to enroll in a formal art education, which he pursued at La Havre secondary school of the arts. However, the art education was not to his liking: taught in styles dating back to the Renaissance, Monet found the teachings unsatisfactory and outdated. Soon after, Monet resigned and went his own way.

Upon traveling to Paris to visit the famed Louvre museum, Monet found himself staring out the window and painting what he saw outdoors, rather than the work of the masters which hung on the walls. Soon after, in 1862, Monet became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. Together they shared new approaches to art, painting the effects of light "en plein air" with broken color and rapid brushstrokes, in what later came to be known as Impressionism.

Learn more about his incredible Water Lilies series below.

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