The first time I saw a painting of Claude Monet up close, it was his “Water Lilies” which was on exhibit at the MoMA in New York (not counting the numerous slide shots of his works that we studied in our “impressionist” stage in the college of fine arts). What I loved about his work back then was this dreamy haze of a world which he invited us to step into. The softness of his work was a stark contrast to the in-your-face sensibilities of the Andy Warhols and Roy Lichtensteins that I grew up favoring.
Visiting Giverny (the town where he lived and painted for most of his life) for the first time, and stepping into his home and sprawling garden, made me realize where this dreamy sensibility came from. What a beautiful, inspiring place! Located just a short train ride outside of Paris, Giverny is a little town that has dedicated itself to art (and the art of gardening) thanks in no small part to its most famous resident.
There’s nothing quite like the experience of peeking into the world of one of your favorite artists and catching a glimpse of what they saw 🙂
View of Monet’s garden from inside his house (unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside)
Stepping into a painting–the very picturesque lily pond featured in many of Monet’s famous works
Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” (image from the Google Art Project)Vibrant fall foliage covered the stone walls & pretty houses in GivernyThe Hotel Baudy became a favorite hang-out & residence of numerous artists who followed Monet to Giverny
Artist’s studios line the streets of Giverny and on some days you can see the current crop of artists at work