A founding member of the Impressionist movement in the late 1800s, Claude Monet was interested in plein air painting, in which he would capture the same site repeatedly, particularly depicting the differing effects of light and shadow on color throughout the day and night. He is particularly well known for his many varied paintings of haystacks, poplars, the Rouen Cathedral, and the water lilies from the pond at his home in Giverny.
This painting, entitled Pots de Tulipes, depicts pink, yellow, and red tulips in various stages of bloom. These flowers are further examples of the beloved landscape that surrounded his home in Giverny. Monet once said, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” The tulips would eventually be a part of his garden, but, impatient, Monet painted them while they were still in their pots.
Quick brush strokes blur the lines of the subjects in Monet’s classic style, while his use of color creates light and shadows that play across the leaves and petals. Monet signed his name to this piece prominently, in large, slanted letters and bold, red paint. Since its creation in 1885, this work has been exhibited at the Musee Moderne in Brussels, and the Kunstverein in Frankfurt as well as gallery shows at Durand-Ruel and Bernheim Jeune.
The painting is included in Wildenstein’s definitive catalogue raisonne of Monet’s work, listed under catalog number 958.