National Treasure at York Art Gallery

Wednesday, 13th March 2024

National Treasure at York Art Gallery

National Gallery’s National Treasures

Monet in York: ‘The Water-Lily Pond’ (1899)

10 May – 8 September 2024

Monet’s ‘The Water-Lily Pond’ will be the central feature of a major new exhibition at York Art Gallery to mark the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery on 10 May 2024.

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), The Water-Lily Pond, 1899 © The National Gallery, London

York Art Gallery is one of twelve partners participating in National Treasures which will host a masterpiece from the National Gallery’s outstanding collection to celebrate this occasion.

Painted by one of the founders of the Impressionist movement Claude Monet (1840-1926), ‘The Water-Lily Pond’ (1899) will be the centrepiece of an exhibition which will bring together key loans from regional and national institutions alongside collection works, and a large-scale commission by contemporary artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan. Monet’s canvas will be explored in the context of 19th-century French open-air painting, pictures by his early mentors, and the Japanese prints which transformed his practice and beloved gardens in Giverny. By displaying canvases by those contemporaries he inspired, as well as more modern artworks and a new commission, the exhibition will reveal how Monet’s radical approach to painting had, and continues to have, an enduring influence on artists.

In 1893 Monet bought a plot of land next to his house in Giverny. He had already planted a colourful flower garden, but now he wanted to create a water garden “both for the pleasure of the eye and for the purpose of having subjects to paint”. He enlarged the existing pond, filling it with exotic new hybrid water lilies, and built a bridge at one end, inspired by examples seen in Japanese prints. The water garden became the main obsession of Monet’s later career. The National Gallery’s 1899 ‘The Water-Lily Pond’ painting was amongst his earlier canvases on this theme.

Dr Beatrice Bertram, Senior Curator at York Art Gallery, said “We are delighted to be hosting this beautiful and much-loved painting by Monet as part of the National Gallery’s Bicentenary events. Taking our cue from the artist’s lush canvas, our exhibition will explore open-air painting, celebrate the enjoyment of nature, landscapes and gardens, and connect indoor and outdoor spaces. In the Gallery, Monet will be joined by works from our own collection, key loans from national and regional museums, and a vibrant new commission by contemporary artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan. In the gardens nearby, Monet has inspired us to plant a wildflower meadow, and we’ll be encouraging audiences to get creative and engage in open-air sketching. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to York to see the painting and exhibition for themselves.” 

National Treasures is a key strand of the National Gallery’s programme celebrating the Gallery’s Bicentenary. Each partner venue will receive a masterpiece from the Gallery’s collection and will curate around it, involving interpretation, community engagement and events, or exhibitions. For the duration of the displays, 35 million people - more than half the UK population - will be within an hour’s journey of a National Gallery masterpiece.

 The opening of National Treasures around the UK kickstarts a year of Bicentenary celebrations, where three strands of activities showcase the Gallery across the nation; to the community in Trafalgar Square; and to virtual visitors around the world. The ambitious programme showcases the breadth of skill and creativity in the UK cultural sector, and is just as much about looking ahead to the next 200 years in the Gallery’s future as it is about celebrating its past. Concluding the celebrations in May 2025 will be the opening of the new Sainsbury Wing developments in Trafalgar Square. 

Alexandra Kavanagh, Head of National Touring Exhibitions at the National Gallery, said, “As the National Gallery marks its third century of bringing people and paintings together, we are thrilled to be sharing twelve of our greatest masterpieces with museums across the UK. We’re delighted to be working with such a dynamic partner with a brilliant collection of their own in York Art Gallery. The new contexts in which visitors will get to see ‘The Water-Lily Pond’, thanks to contemporary response and the context of a museum garden, is exactly what we hoped National Treasures would help to spark as a programme.”

The exhibition at York Art Gallery is supported by wealth management company JM Finn and Little Greene Paint Company as the official paint partner.  Lucy Coutts, Head of JM Finn’s York office commented, “This National Treasures initiative is incredibly exciting and very much chimes with us; where the National Gallery are looking to make these paintings accessible, so we aim to make wealth management more accessible to help individuals meet their financial challenges.  We are delighted to be a part of this wonderful exhibition which also gives us a unique opportunity to cement our presence in York.”

Editors Notes:

Image credit: 


Claude Monet, 1840 – 1926 

The Water-Lily Pond, 1899 

© The National Gallery, London 

For interviews, high resolution images or more information please contact:

Siona Mackelworth, Head of Communications & Marketing: / 07483 825647 or Kendra Grahame-Clarke / 07910 214474

York Art Gallery Opening Times: Wednesday – Sunday 10am - 5pm

For more information on York Art Gallery go to:

About York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery’s collection of paintings spans more than 600 years and works range from 14th century Italian panels and 17th century Dutch masterpieces to Victorian narrative paintings and 20th century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney. The Gallery also holds the most extensive and representative collection of British Studio Ceramics, thanks to the acquisition of collections from Dean Milner–White, WA Ismay and Henry Rothschild and the long term loan of Anthony Shaw’s collection. Highlights are on show in the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA). The Gallery and its collections are cared for by the charity York Museums Trust, established in 2002. 

More information at  York Art Gallery.

About The National Gallery 

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the late 13th to the early 20th century. The collection includes works by Artemisia Gentileschi, Bellini, Cézanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh and Velázquez. The Gallery’s key objectives are to care for and enhance the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors. Admission free.

On 10 May 2024 the National Gallery will be 200 years old, and they will start their Bicentenary celebration, a year-long festival of art, creativity and imagination, marking two centuries of bringing people and paintings together.

More information at

As part of National Treasures, the partners and the paintings they are receiving are: 

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, The Wilton Diptych (about 1395-9) 

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Self Portrait at the Age of 34 (1640), Rembrandt (1606-1669)

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The Hay Wain (1821), John Constable (1776-1837) 

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Venus and Mars (about 1485), Sandro Botticelli (about 1445-1510) 

Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1615-17), Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1654 or later) 

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, The Fighting Temeraire (1839), Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) 

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, The Umbrellas (about 1881-6), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) 

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, The Stonemason’s Yard (about 1725), Canaletto (1697-1768) 

Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal (about 1670-2), Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) 

Ulster Museum, Belfast, The Supper at Emmaus (1601), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) 

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, The Rokeby Venus (1647-51), Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) 

York Art Gallery, The Water-Lily Pond (1899), Claude Monet (1840-1926) 

About Michaela Yearwood-Dan

Throughout paintings, works on paper, ceramics, and site-specific mural and sound installations, Michaela Yearwood-Dan (b. 1994; London, UK) endeavours to build spaces of queer community, abundance, and joy through paintings, ceramics and works on paper. Yearwood-Dan's work has been shown at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ; the Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX; Palazzo Monti, Brescia, Italy; and the Museum of Contemporary African Art, Marrakesh, Morocco, among others. 

More information at Michaela Yearwood-Dan - Biography | Marianne Boesky Gallery

About JM Finn

JM Finn is a wealth management firm that provides a personalised approach to investment and wealth management for today's private investors. With over 100 investment professionals, JM Finn looks after investment portfolios on behalf of over 18,500 clients (as at 31st December 2023) across the UK. The firm is headquartered in London and has regional offices in Bristol, Bury St Edmunds, Winchester and York.

More information at Homepage | JM Finn

About Little Greene Paint Company

Little Greene is an eco-friendly, family-run business cataloguing 300 years of paint and wallpaper. Based in the UK.

More information at Little Greene - Buy Luxury Paint and Wallpaper Online