Water Lilies, Green Reflection, 1914-17 by Claude Monet

Monet had a third studio built in his garden in 1915 to allow him to continue painting his vast canvases, which reflect little of the horrors of war going on oil around. Monet's son Michel was serving and, by 1917, over one million French had died during the conflicts, yet Monet continued to paint his vast, tranquil canvases.

At some point in 1918 Monet was assured, chiefly through his friend Prime Minister Georqes Clemenceau (1841-1929), that his Grandes Decorations would be exhibited by the State. He decided that 12 of the giant canvases would form the scheme, even though he had painted far more than this. Part of the State's commitment to the project was to provide a suitable housing for it, and to purchase Monet's Women in the Garden, 1866, to offset the costs of the Grandes Decorations.

At the time of this painting Monet was suffering from problems with his eyesight. The dark, green tonal ground of this work contrasts with the colours of the lilies, and his swirling brushwork is most evident, adding to the effect of gentle movement.