Claude Monet's Agapanthus triptych, which gently portrays the water lilies in the artist's own garden pond, invokes a dreamlike familiarity, where everything isn't quite clear but still the intent, the message, is crystal. Quiet beauty, delicate nature, bountiful color — all of these impressions come straight through the enormous canvases, each of which measures seven by fourteen feet. Monet strived for just the right composition across all three works for more than a decade, and his efforts are evident in the careful layers of pigment and depth. This triptych is on display as the focus of Monet's Water Lilies, a special exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or, and Agapanthus is joined by studies for the work, on loan from Paris, Wisteria Numbers 1 and 2 and Water Lilies. Fun fact about the triptych: Each panel belongs to a different art museum, so they rarely are seen together and haven't been joined since 1980. Don't you miss out on your chance to see the reunion — you have until Sunday, January 22 (the museums is closed on Monday), to pay the lilies a visit and to participate in some of the art museum's special programming surrounding the exhibition, including lectures and family-friendly events. Admission to Monet's Water Lilies costs $6 to $10, which includes an audio tour, and always remember that Fridays are free, free, free (audio tours cost $3).
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 2. Continues through Jan. 22, 2011

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