Like A Bridge Over Ponded Waters, I Will Lily You Down


Claude Monet is the original artist of the great masterpiece painting Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lillies (1899) oil on canvas 90 cm x 100 cm (Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris)

Born Oscar-Claude Monet in France, on 14 November 1840, Monet was a founder of the French Impressionist school of painting.

  • After moving to the French provincial town of Giverney in 1883, Monet began painting his famous water lilies.
  • It was here that the white water lilies local to France were planted along with imported cultivars from South America and Egypt, resulting in a range of colours including yellow, blue and white lilies that turned pink with age.
  • By 1899 his artwork showcased his new style, depicting vertical views with a Japanese Bridge in the background, as a central feature in each canvas.

As a consequence, Monet’s lily ponds and bridge at his Giverney home, have become an iconic impressionistic artwork which other students, artists and copyists wish to perfect. Images include:

  • Two art study works submitted by secondary college students from an unnamed secondary college as part of their annual fair.

And two parodies:

  • The first being from Sally Swain’s “Great Housewives of Art” (1987 exhibition), with her interpretation entitled:  “Mrs Monet cleans the pool“. (Swain was born in Sydney in 1958. After a BA in psychology from Sydney University, she travelled Europe and has subsequently worked as a freelance illustrator).
  • The other is entitled Show Me the Monet (2005) by street artist Banksy. Here Banksy refigures Monet’s original painting using the same materials as well as adding two discarded shopping carts/trolleys and a traffic cone to the pond; representing consumerism; hence his title: Show Me the Monet (money).

Regardless of copies, parodies or originals it is evident that when it comes to Giverney’s waterlilies, there are Monet Bridges to Cross.

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Source: Stuckey, Charles M. Claude Monet 1840-1926. Konemann, 1985
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