Artist Ai Weiwei recreates Monet's Water Lilies using 650,000 Lego pieces

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has recreated Claude Monet's famed water lilies paintings using 650,000 Lego bricks.

The monumental art piece, titled "Water Lilies #1", measures nearly 50-foot-wide and is the largest Lego artwork Ai has ever made.

The spectacular sight will be seen in public for the very first time when the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense opens on Friday 7 April at London's Design Museum.

Water Lilies #1 recreates Monet's famous painting, Water Lilies (1914 - 26), a monumental triptych which is currently in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In the original painting, Monet depicts one of the lily ponds in the gardens of his home in Giverny near Paris. It is an image that has become world-famous for its depiction of nature's tranquil beauty.

However, the pond and gardens were a man-made construct, designed and created by Monet himself at the turn of the 20th century. He had the nearby river Epte partially diverted in order to create this idealised landscape.

The new image has been constructed out of Lego bricks to strip away Monet's brushstrokes in favour of a depersonalised language of industrial parts and colours. These pixel-like blocks suggest contemporary digital technologies which are central to modern life, and reference how art is often disseminated in the contemporary world.

Ai Weiwei: Making Sense is showing at the Design Museum in London from April 7 to July 30.