1915 Footage Shows Monet Painting His Famous Lilies

Caitlin Schneider

To say the name “Claude Monet” is to conjure images of water lilies, bridges, and ponds in soft greens, pinks, blues and purples. The French Impressionist painter is as tied to that series as Edgar Degas is to ballerinas.

In this silent 1915 short film, Monet is seen in his garden at Giverny—first talking with a man as dogs frolic in the background, and then at his canvas painting with a cigarette dangling from his lips. The sight of the world-famous garden is arresting, though it's stripped of its signature hues in the black-and-white footage. 

It's also incredible to watch Monet work en plein air, creating one of the 250 oil paintings showcasing the lilies that, in the 100 years since, have become artistic icons in their own right.

[h/t Kottke]