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Art and Images in Psychiatry |

The Water-Lily Pond—Symphony in Green

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64(12):1347. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.64.12.1347.
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Throughout his life, Claude Monet (1840-1926) retained his enthusiasm for the Japanese art that had first inspired him and his fellow artists in the 1860s. He displayed his precious framed Japanese prints (he had more than 230) in the yellow dining room and up the stairs at his home in Giverny, France. In 1920 the Duc de Trévise observed that Monet, despite his failing vision,3,4 was still lyrically describing the impact of Japanese ukiyo-e colored woodblock prints on his work, calling his attention (epigraph) to Katsushika Hokusai's Pink and Red Peonies Blown to the Left in a Breeze and a Butterfly. Drawn particularly to the work of Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), he diligently studied their style, coloration, brush strokes, and subject matter as he developed his own.

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Claude Monet (1840-1926), French. The Water-Lily Pond—Symphony in Green, 1899. Oil on canvas, 89 × 93.5 cm (34¾ × 36½ in). © 2007 Musée d’Orsay (http://www.musee-orsay.fr/), Paris, France, Lauros/Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library. Special thanks to ophthalmologist James Ravin, MD, for his advice on the accompanying commentary.

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Claude Monet (1840-1926), French. The Japanese Bridge at Giverny, 1918-1924. Oil on canvas, 89 × 100 cm (35⅛ × 39⅛ in). © 2007 Musée Marmottan (http://www.marmottan.com/), Paris, France, Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library.

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