Monet's Gardens in Giverny
Updated: Mar 20
Imagine for a moment what it might be like to wander through an artistic muse - that space in the world that so inspired someone’s creativity. When you visit Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, your eyes will open to the vibrant world he witnessed, internalized and then shared with the world through his revolutionary and visionary masterpieces.
The Father of Impressionism first came upon pastoral Giverny in 1883 when the population was a scant 301 people. Having been born and raised in bustling Paris, Giverny offered Monet the quiet interlude he sought. He moved his family there and set about painting, meticulously designing his home and gardens and, likely without realizing it, securing his place among the world’s master Impressionists, joining such greats as Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas.
Giverny is on most river cruise itineraries on the Seine in France, offering art lovers the opportunity to wander amidst the iconic water lilies, weeping willows, purple wisteria and green bamboo captured by Monet. You’ll have the opportunity to tour Monet’s pink stucco house, where he lived with his family, including eight children. Wander through the drawing room, pantry, bedroom, study, dining room, kitchen and the artist’s studio. Notice how each room of the home has a distinct color scheme, thoughtfully chosen by Monet.
Stroll through the beautiful gardens and wander amidst the water lilies and weeping willows
Outside, stroll around Clos Normand and its extensive floral displays, flower-bedecked metal arches, Japanese cherry trees and beds of tulips, roses and nasturtiums. See Monet’s Water Lilies series come to life in front of you when you visit the water garden and the Japanese bridge.
No visit is complete without a stop at the Giverny Museum of Impressionism to learn more about Monet and the Impressionism movement. A permanent exhibition, “Monet Around,” unveils the influence of Monet’s art, as well as that of his contemporaries and the ensuing generations. Believe it or not, “impressionism” was originally considered an insult by art critics, belittled for its short, quick brushstrokes that were intended to illustrate movement and light. Monet did much of his painting outdoors as opposed to indoors, as was preferred by other artists of the time. Painting, in general, was more traditional, with seamless colors and shadows. And yet, this avant-garde form of expression took root, thanks to Monet and others, and has left the art world with an incredible treasure.
Monet’s signature pieces are the ones that will be top of mind as you visit Giverny and his gardens. Forever memorialized, these iconic garden masterpieces include Monet’s famous water lilies, a painting that could sell for as much as 80 million dollars today. Thankfully, you can enjoy the ambiance of the priceless art by strolling through Monet’s muse, soaking up the vibrant flowers and unique plants he chose and tended to himself. Consider stopping by L’église Ste-Radegonde, the 11th- to 12th-century church that is the final resting place of Claude Monet, to pay your respects.
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