With his eyes glued to the scenery fleeting before him on a French train in the northern countryside of France, Claude Monet caught sight of the village of Giverny, and made up his mind to live there. The train’s windowpane serving as a temporary picture frame, foreshadowing the type of signature paintings Monet would create for years to come; Giverny became Claude Monet’s home for approximately 43 years from 1883 until his death in 1926. For many individuals blessed with a creative mind, inspiration can be difficult to gather, but for Monet, his village, his home and his gardens would provide him with enough natural inspiration to create some of the most famous pieces of art in the world.
It can, therefore, be argued that Monet’s greatest piece of artwork were the gardens he orchestrated and the bold, and voluptuous landscape surrounding his small cottage — a point the master often made himself. Now open to the public, Monet’s gardens are divided into flowerbeds consisting of flowers of both different heights and colors in order to create a scene both varied and voluminous. His water gardens are majestically decorated with the famous water lilies that make a splendid cameo in his famous Water Lily series paintings as well as the now legendary Japanese Bridge Monet ordered built across the still waters of the pond. His elegant house echoes the colorful gardens with the walls of each room pained only the most vibrant of colors (all of which Monet picked himself) that lived up to the standards of the artist —such rooms inside Monet’s home consist of the blue sitting room and a dining room painted two different shades of bright and welcoming yellow. And how fitting too, that a museum dedicated to Impressionist art is minutes away from the home of the Impressionist founder. The Giverny Impressionism Museum includes not only Impressionist paintings, but also focuses on the development, history, and importance of Impressionism as both an art form and a movement.
If Monet was able to see the possibilities of Giverny from the window of a train, imagine what it must be like now, after the artist took his famous painting hands and went to work. Beautifully renovated and meticulously kept, the gardens and home of Monet is like walking into the pages of a fairy tale, or more appropriately, one of the most beautiful paintings the world has ever seen. — Nicole Ellul
Giverny Impressionism Museum
99, rue Claude Monet
+33 (0) 2 32 52 94 65
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