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The Cover
August 19, 1998

Water Lilies

JAMA. 1998;280(7):586. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.586

In 1883 Claude Monet (1840-1926) settled in Giverney, a small, isolated village on the Seine midway between Paris and Rouen; there he would spend the remaining nearly half century of his life. Impressionism, which had so provoked the Paris critics, had all but run its course; the seventh of the group exhibitions had been held the previous year, the eighth and last (in which Monet would not exhibit) would be held in 1886. Manet, its inspiration, was dead, having died just days before Monet's move. Camille, Monet's inspiration, was also dead, since the summer of 1879. Monet's curious domestic arrangement, begun in 1878 during Camille's illness, continued: the Giverney household comprised, besides Monet and his two young sons, Ernest Hoschedé, a Paris businessman, his wife Alice, and five of their six children. With Ernest almost continuously away on business, however, Monet became the virtual head of the Giverney household and Alice his companion, fulfilling many of the duties and consolations Camille had once taken care of. Paradoxically, it was a stable and tranquil time such as Monet had seldom—if ever before—known. He indulged his creative restlessness, pursuing new outlets for his energies that were to take him far beyond Impressionism.

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