Claude Monet Paintings 1900-1908

In this article, you will learn about Claude Monet’s from 1900-1908, including Water Lilies, pictured above. See more pictures of paintings by Monet.

When Claude Monet traveled to London to visit his son Michel in the autumn of 1899, the sight of the city's buildings looming in the fog inspired him to return the following year.

The challenge of painting London's muted colors and moisture-laden atmosphere had intrigued him during his earlier visit in 1870, and now his desire to paint these distinctive effects of light and tonal nuance was rekindled. He painted boats on the Thames from a position on the Charing Cross Bridge as well as the massive silhouette of the Houses of Parliament in every conceivable weather condition. He struggled to capture what he saw, working on as many as 15 canvases at a time.

In 1900, Claude Monet pushed himself to the point of collapse, and, in the following year, a severe bout of pleurisy forced him to cut his work short and return to Giverny. He was now more than 60 years old, but he continued to drive himself to the limits of his physical endurance.

During his convalescence in Giverny, Monet formulated plans to change his water garden. The pond was small, and when the lilies were in full bloom they covered the water, reducing the potential for surface reflection. In May 1901, he bought the strip of meadowland between his garden and the Ru River. Working with engineering consultants over the summer, he created a plan to triple the pond's surface.

For the next six years, Monet painted the water lilies floating on his pond. Every summer he followed a rigorous routine. He rose at dawn and set up his easel at the water's edge to catch the first glimmer of morning light. As the sun rose, he took shelter under a large white parasol, working into the early afternoon with only a brief break for lunch. Around three in the afternoon, Monet rested for a few hours. He often returned to the pond after the lilies had closed to observe them in the waning evening light.

Monet ended his work on the series in September 1908 and agreed to let Durand-Ruel exhibit the whole series the following spring in his Paris gallery. After a brief sojourn in Venice with Alice, Monet put his finishing touches on the canvases. In the past, he had allowed Durand-Ruel to organize his work, but this time he had specific demands for the installation. He wanted the works arranged in the order in which they were painted to simulate his experience of painting them.

Every one of the 48 works bore the same name, Water Lilies; the differences were articulated through tone, color, and format rather than content. Durand-Ruel proposed that they call the exhibition Reflections, but Monet insisted upon Les Nympheas: Series des paysages d'eau (The Water Lilies: Landscapes of Water).

In the first exhibition of the Impressionists, Monet had dared to present a new mode of landscape based on visual sensation rather than topographical description. Now 35 years later, he again broke with convention by painting landscapes of water that floated freely across the plane of his canvas, flowing edge to edge, unbounded by the limits of surrounding terrain.

Check out Claude Monet's paintings from 1900-1908:

  • Charing Cross Bridge is a call back to Monet's earlier work, with its misty atmosphere and suggestions of shapes. See Charing Cross Bridge, from Monet's London campaign.
  • Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge is an experiment in obscured light rather than illumination. Learn more about Monet's Waterloo Bridge.
  • Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day was the result of Claude Monet's frustration and fascination with London's less-than-accommodating climate. Check out Monet's Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day.
  • The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) by Claude Monet was the third London campaign. However, it was cut short by illness and Monet was forced to finish them in his studio. See Monet's The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog).
  • Water Lilies (1903) was the first in a daring new series where Claude Monet experimented with reflections in water. See the results of his venture in Monet's Water Lillies.
  • Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset illustrates his focus on subtle light change. See Monet's Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset.
  • Le Bassin des Nymphéas (Water Lily Pond) by Claude Monet was the result of Monet's infatuation with light and reflection. Discover the beauty of Monet's Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond).
  • Water Lilies (1905) utilizes a similar nuance of tone seen in Monet's London campaign. Check out Claude Monet's Water Lilies.
  • Claude Monet's Water Lilies (1906) captures the unpredictable paths of lilies on the water. See how Monet's observations change in Water Lilies.
  • The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice by Claude Monet was completed during a holiday in Venice. See how the churches inspired Monet in The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.
  • Gondola in Venice by Claude Monet was not released for exhibition until 1912. Find out why there was a delay in showing Monet's Gondola in Venice.

Claude Monet's Charing Cross Bridge is from Monet's London campaign at the turn of the 20th century. In the next section, see Monet's Charing Cross Bridge. To learn more about art, famous artists, and art history, check out:

Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet

Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (26 x 36-1/2 inches) that is housed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (26 x 36-1/2 inches) that is housed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Claude Monet's painted Charing Cross Bridge (1900) during his London campaign. He returned in February with the compositions he had started, and by March he reported that he had at least 65 canvases completed.

This view of the Charing Cross Bridge, with its misty atmosphere and the merest suggestion of forms for the boats on the water, recalls the approach Claude Monet took in his pioneering work, Impression Sunrise.

Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge is an evocative portrayal of London's infamous overcast climate. Check out the next section to discover more about Monet's Waterloo Bridge.

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Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet

Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (25-5/8x39-3/8 inches) and is housed at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane, Ireland.
Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (25-5/8x39-3/8 inches) and is housed at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane, Ireland.

Over the course of his stay in London, Claude Monet transferred his attention from trestles of the Charing Cross Bridge to arches of the Waterloo Bridge, as displayed in the aptly-named painting, Waterloo Bridge (1900).

It was light, however, that was the central focus of his so-called "Londons." In his evocative portrayal of overcast weather in Waterloo Bridge, Monet restricted his palette to a range of blues, modulated with yellow into green, in a dramatic expression of obscured light as rich as any effect of high illumination.

Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day by Claude Monet is another in the series Monet created out of frustration with the weather in London. Go to the next section to see Monet's Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day.

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Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day by Claude Monet

Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (25-3/8x39-3/8 inches) and is housed at the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (25-3/8x39-3/8 inches) and is housed at the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Claude Monet constantly complained about the weather in his letters to Alice from London. The fog, the rain, and the damp all threatened to impede his progress, and he often worked in his hotel room, looking out the window. But the volatility of the weather that frustrated him also inspired him, and he soon had a canvas representing every type of weather, including his 1903 work Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day.

Claude Monet's The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) was part of a series that had to be completed from memory rather than observation. Go to the next section to find out why and learn more about Monet's The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog).

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The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) by Claude Monet

Claude Monet’s The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) is an oil on canvas (32 x 36-3/8 inches) and is housed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Claude Monet’s The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) is an oil on canvas (32 x 36-3/8 inches) and is housed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Illness cut short Claude Monet's third London campaign. He returned home to Giverny and felt compelled to finish his canvases in the studio, including The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) in 1903. Although he had done this with his Japanese bridge series, his water garden was only steps away. London was now distant, and he had no opportunity to refresh his observation, so he was forced to work from memory. Monet found this frustrating, but, by 1904, he declared the three series -- including nearly 100 canvases -- complete to his satisfaction.

Water Lilies by Claude Monet (1903) is the first of Monet's next series, featuring two motifs that intrigued Monet: water and the action of light on its surface. Click to the next section to see Monet's Water Lilies.

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Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Water Lilies by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (31-7/8 x 39-3/8 inches) housed at the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation, Tokyo.
Water Lilies by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (31-7/8 x 39-3/8 inches) housed at the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation, Tokyo.

Late in December 1902, American painter Mary Cassatt informed a friend that Claude Monet had embarked on a new and daring series -- reflections in water.

In the previous year, Claude Monet had purchased a strip of land and had expanded his water garden. The enlarged surface of his pond allowed him to explore in greater depth the two motifs that had always intrigued him: water and the action of light on its surface, as featured in his 1903 painting, Water Lilies.

Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset by Claude Monet is part of a series where Monet honed his focus to the subtle light changes on a single subject. Click to the next section to see Monet's Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset.

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Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset by Claude Monet

Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (25-3/4 x 36-1/2 inches) and housed at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (25-3/4 x 36-1/2 inches) and housed at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The hours Claude Monet spent viewing his water garden transformed his idea of a series and his approach to a single subject. Where before he recorded the salient changes caused by the seasons and the times of day, Monet now honed his observations to perceive the most subtle variation of light and surface activity, which he rendered through color harmonies and articulate brush strokes. Time became irrelevant; tone and atmosphere alone riveted his attention, as seen in the 1904 painting, Waterloo Bridge, London, at Sunset.

Claude Monet's Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond) is from Monet's second summer focusing on water lilies. Click to the next section to see Monet's Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond).

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Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond) by Claude Monet

Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond) by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (35 x 36-1/4 inches) and is housed at the Denver Art Museum.
Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond) by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (35 x 36-1/4 inches) and is housed at the Denver Art Museum.

Recalling the inspiration for his series in 1904, Claude Monet said he became infatuated with light and reflection. In the second summer painting the water lilies, Le Bassin des Nympheas (Water Lily Pond),Monet treated the water's surface like a mirror, reflecting the swaying fringe of foliage and the clouds moving across the sky. The water spans the breadth of the composition. Only the willows and reeds that appear at the top of the canvas moor the pond to its surrounding banks.

Water Lilies by Claude Monet (1905) features water as its exclusive subject, with all the surrounding terrain eliminated. See Monet's Water Lilies in the next section.

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Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Water Lilies by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (35-1/4 x 39-1/2 inches) that is housed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Water Lilies by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (35-1/4 x 39-1/2 inches) that is housed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Across the boundless plane of his luminous pond, Claude Monet observed the ghostly images of the reflected trees and the bright lilies on the shimmering waters. Monet had used an exuberant palette in the second year of his series on the Japanese bridge in 1900.

Now he applied the nuance of tone he acquired during his London campaign to the water garden, and he took the daring step of eliminating all surrounding terrain, making water his exclusive subject in his 1905 work, Water Lilies.

Claude Monet's Water Lilies (1906) reveals the discoveries Monet made about the nature of water. Click to the next section to see these revelations in Monet's Water Lilies (1906).

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Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Water Lilies by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (34-1/2 x 36-1/2 inches) and is part of the Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago.
Water Lilies by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (34-1/2 x 36-1/2 inches) and is part of the Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago.

For most of the water lily paintings of 1905, Claude Monet used a square canvas, depicting the pond surface from edge to edge. The pale lilies chart their random course over the waters, clustering together into single rafts of leaves and blossoms and then spreading off in different directions at the whim of the moving water.

Like the lilies, Monet's glance skimmed over the pond, and his observations revealed his discoveries about the nature of water in his 1906 painting Water Lilies.

Claude Monet's The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice was painted in spite of Monet's exhaustion and difficulty with his eyesight. Go to the next section to see Monet's The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

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The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice by Claude Monet

The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (34 x 44-5/8 inches), housed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (34 x 44-5/8 inches), housed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

In September 1908, when the season to paint in the water garden had ended, Claude Monet and his wife Alice took a holiday in Venice. Hard work -- at his advancing age -- took its toll on his health. Monet was exhausted and experiencing difficulty with his eyesight.

But, within a week of his arrival, he began to paint the famous churches along the canal in the soft vaporous atmo­sphere that cast pink and blue shadows on the white facades, seen here in The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

Gondola in Venice by Claude Monet was not released for exhibition until 1912. Click to the next section to find out why there was a delay in showing Monet's Gondola in Venice.

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Gondola in Venice by Claude Monet

Gondola in Venice by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (31-7/8 x 21-5/8 inches), housed at Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France
Gondola in Venice by Claude Monet is an oil on canvas (31-7/8 x 21-5/8 inches), housed at Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France

Claude Monet and his wife Alice returned to Giverny late in the year. After completing the water lily series, Monet turned his attentions to the studies he brought home from Venice, including his 1908 work, Gondola in Venice.

Over the next years, he was slow to complete them, and it was not until 1912 that he was willing to release 29 of the works for an exhibition. But Monet, still grieving over Alice's death in the previous year, took little pleasure in his accomplishment.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American painting, including Publication International, Ltd.'s, Impressionism and Van Gogh. Other titles include Sunflowers, Monet's Garden in Art, Van Gogh: Fields and Flowers, and Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives. Ms. Mancoff is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.