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Poplars, painting by Claude Monet

From the early 1890s, Monet began to paint works in series, depicting single, unassuming motifs, such as haystacks and cathedral facades, under a variety of weather conditions and seasonal changes. 

In the summer of 1891, he turned his attention to the poplar trees that lined the banks of the river Epte, near his home at Giverny. By the beginning of the following year, he had painted thirty-two works, all on unusual square–shaped canvases; fifteen of these were exhibited together in Paris in March 1892 in a one-man show which consolidated Monet’s reputation as among the most innovative painters of his day.