History of Modern France

The Third French Republic 1870-1940. Part 4

19 May 2021

The Story of Monet's Water Lily Series at the Musée de l'Orangerie, 1918-1927

with Anne Catherine Abecassis

On November 12, 1918, the day after the victory of France over Germany, Claude Monet wrote to his old and glorious friend Georges Clemenceau, "the father of Victory", to offer a series of decorative panels to the French State: a true monument to Peace.

After eight years of negotiations, political intrigue, doubts and discouragement the series was finally completed. The Orangerie Water Lily remain one of the greatest and most monumental achievements of painting of the first half of the twentieth century, in many ways the ultimate masterpiece of Claude Monet’s long career.

On May 17, 1927, in the former Orangery of the Tuileries Gardens, inauguration in the presence of Georges Clemenceau of the museum housing the Water Lily bequeathed by Claude Monet to the State. Unpublished photograph from the Illustration.



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