I must have flowers, always, and always

April 21, 2022

I remember standing at The Orangerie in Paris as a teenager enveloped in Monet’s waterlilies. “These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me,” he wrote to a friend in 1909. “It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.” The waterlilies dominated the last 30-years of the artist’s life, each painting capturing the passing of time from sunrise to sunset. The Orangerie (built originally to store the citrus trees of the Tuileries Garden from the cold in the winter) is the perfect place to house them. I often wonder what it would feel like to re-live its curved walls bathed in lilies through an adult’s eyes, like re-reading Lord of the Flies or Animal Farm three decades later. The subject remains the same, but the way we see and feel it changes.


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