The Private Passions of Claude Monet
It is well known that Monet loved to garden, as anyone who has ever been to his home in Giverny can attest. The quaint, pink-and-green country home—where he moved in 1883 and lived for the remaining 43 years until his death—retains its famous water lilies and Japanese bridge. It opened to the public in 1880 and has been popular since then with tourists when the gardens burst with color during the spring and summer.
While in Giverny, Monet entertained friends and fellow artists, including Paul Cezanne, Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassat, and Gustave Caillebotte, who first introduced Monet to the pleasures of gardening. Monet’s kitchen is cheerful, with blue-and-white French tiles lining the wall. Here he cooked lavishly, making everything from duck to homemade ice cream using ingredients he grew on the property. Guests would dine in the yellow dining room, where they talked about the garden and news from Paris and London. But the impressive dinners weren’t limited to special occasions; each day the artist’s large family would sit down to menus planned weeks in advance.
Today you can visit Monet’s home for yourself. As you pass through the kitchen, you can imagine what it must have been like as the greatest artistic minds of a generation crowded here, the smell of roast duck and Tart Tatin wafting through the air.