The Saint Louis Art Museum The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art Reunite Claud Monet’s Agapanthus

. October 3, 2011 . 0 Comments

For the first time in over 30 years, The Saint Louis Art Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and The Cleveland Museum of Art have collaborated to reunite the three panels of Agapanthus as the artist himself intended.


Claude Monet, French, 1840–1926; Agapanthus, c.1915–26; oil on canvas; overall: 79 7/8 inches x 41 feet 10 7/8 inches; Left Panel: The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund 1960.81; Center Panel: Saint Louis Art Museum, The Steinberg Charitable Fund 134:1956; Right Panel: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 57-26

The Agapanthus triptych was inspired by Monet’s pond in his famed garden at Giverny, just west of Paris. Monet himself gave the title Agapanthus to the 42 foot triptych after the plant (also known as “African lily” or “Lily of the Nile”). His large-scale water-lily compositions represent the culminating achievement of his career, and were described by the artist as his Grand Decorations.

Monet began work on these three massive canvases, each measuring approximately 7 feet by 14 feet, in about 1915, and continued to rework and obsessively change the composition of the triptych until his death more than 10 years later.

With a total of eight paintings, the St. Louis presentation of Monet’s Water Lilies is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, and will also showcase two works from a private St. Louis collection. Wisteria Numbers 1 and 2 was intended by Monet to be part of the initial installation for his triptychs in a planned (but never realized) pavilion in the garden of what is now the Musée Rodin in France. The other private collection loan, Water Lilies, was included along with Agapanthus in the 1956 exhibit of Monet’s work at the Knoedler Gallery in New York.

Monet’s Water Lilies is organized by the Saint Louis Art Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and The Cleveland Museum of Art. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support has been provided by Emerson. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Category: Fine Art

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