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.