He builds in 1915 the studio in which he will create the Grandes Décorations, his new series on the theme of the nymphéas. With this project of dedicating a full exhibition room to a circular view of the pond, he is a great innovator. He does not express the nature but instead the feeling of serenity which had become so rare and precious in those tragic times.
Peace is back. Monet is a painter and he insists to contribute in the celebration of victory through his art. The Grandes Décorations modify his ideas about the composition. He experiments with two new panoramic formats, 100 x 200 cm and 130 x 200 cm, which make more sense to the focusing of the picture onto the pond with its plants and its reflections but without shore or sky.
In the wording of his time, Monet becomes a decorator, favoring effect and atmosphere rather than the figuration. In the language of our time, he is a precursor of the abstract sensitivity.
However, Monet works primarily for himself. He had not given away any significant painting since 1912. In November 1919 he nevertheless accepts to sell to Bernheim-Jeune four of his new Bassins aux nymphéas 100 x 200 cm. This set is one of the highlights of his distinguished career : one of these paintings was sold for £ 41M including premium by Christie's on June 24, 2008.
Another canvas from this group was split into two equal parts 100 x 100 cm before 1944 by an unidentified fool. The left side is now in the Tel Aviv Museum. The right side is estimated $ 25M for sale by Christie's in New York on May 12, lot 27 C.
SOLD for $ 27M including premium