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Aquatic imagery: The power of water in art

Silke Wünsch db
July 26, 2018

From crashing waves and serene river scenes to sublime lilies in a pond, artists have long focused their masterworks on water's refreshing, purifying and revivifying essence.

david hockney stands in  front of  a pool picture
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/ J. Schmitt-Tegge

There's no better place on sweltering summer days than to be by the water. As a relentless heatwave grips Europe, people are flocking to tranquil bays by the sea, clear freshwater lakes, burbling streams, or even public swimming pools.

Read more: David Hockney's swimming pools: a Brit's artistic take on California

Artists, too, have been inspired to depict refreshing water scenes over the centuries. Medieval paintings show bathers romping naked in a pool, while modern artists like David Hockney have focused on shimmering suburban swimming pools.

Click though the above picture gallery to explore some famous water-related artworks.