by Ariane ~ October 22, 2014
Yesterday I guided very charming hawaian guests at Giverny. It was nice to look at Monet’s gardens through their eye from Hawai. They reminded me that fall doesn’t exist on their island. It is summer all year round. Discovering the special spirit of this season sounded very exciting for them. Autumn has started to work its magic on the foliage. The three sweet gum trees reflect their reds and oranges into the water lily pond. For us, who know what will come next, this dramatic show of the saison, despite of its beauty, has a special flavour of nostalgia and melancholia intertwined.
by Ariane ~ October 8, 2014
Impressionist umbrellas featuring ladies with a parasol that hang upside down from a gutter,
and soap bubbles flying through the air and catching all the colors of light,
this is also Giverny, the village of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet.
by Ariane ~ October 2, 2014
Every last Sunday of September, the main street of Giverny “Rue Claude Monet” turns into a sidewalk sale. Hundreds of booths display a large range of used things, from antiques to books and toys. These so called Fairs to Everything (foires à tout) are extremely popular in the area of Giverny and attract thousands of visitors.
I photographed this paint box at the Giverny fair last week-end. It is a foldable one. I found it especially artful, if I dare say, because of the two little bumpers that prevent the two sides of the palet from sticking to one another when folded.
Below, the zinc box is partitioned to contain tubes of color and brushes, and a bottle of solvent.
Foldable means that the box was easy to carry outdoors for open air painting, the big revolution of the 19th Century. Thanks to the newly invented squeezable tubes of colors, artists were able to leave their studios and paint the landscapes they saw, generously lit by the sun.
I wonder whom this very paint box belonged to, and what paintings were made with it. The mystery contained in ancient objects is part of the fun we have going antiques hunting…
by Ariane ~ September 14, 2014
Early in the morning, the low sunbeams stroke the flowers at Giverny. Some mist still hangs in the air, like the dreams of the night. There is a feeling of awakening.
The little lanes of Monet’s garden look even more inviting. Early in the morning, minutes after opening time, the Clos Normand is still silent. One can hear the plants breathing, almost.
It is a magical moment that must be picked up quickly. Shortly later, the air will be full of voices, and the place full of people.
by Ariane ~ August 15, 2014
A puzzling sign hangs on a fence in Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. Visitors are begged not to disturb the owl. They scrutinize the cage. Where can this mysterious owl be sleeping?
Their efforts to find the bird are doomed to failure, because there has never been any owl in the poultry yard. It should read “Don’t disturb the Fowl” but a puckish hand erased the F!
The French translation is vague: don’t disturb the animals.
What can be seen are two white and black turkeys and a few chickens. From time to time, the roaster sings a loud Cocorico, regardless of any owls or human beings that could be asleep in the vicinity…
by Ariane ~ June 7, 2014
This is how the water lilies are blooming right now at Giverny. Pink, salmon, yellow, white,
For more pictures of Giverny, you may also enjoy my photo gallery Giverny Photo and, even if you don’t read French, my other blog Giverny News that I’ve been writing for 8 years.
I would like to dedicate this post to Margerie, whom I met this week in the garden while I was photographying for the blogs. Margerie is a painter and gives painting classes in Monet’s gardens after closing time. She came to me, ‘Are you Ariane?’ She wanted to say thank you for the blog.
You know, Giverny is a little heaven. Minutes ago, I was sitting in the garden waiting for a cloud to go away from the sun, and doubting. Is it still meaningful to go on with the blogs? When the sun came back, I got up for more pictures, and I met Margerie and her gratefulness. She came to me like an angel. Life has the answer, when we ask a question. I’m grateful to you, Margerie.
by Ariane ~ May 17, 2014
Claude Monet designed his water garden from scratch, turning a marshland into a beautiful waterscape to paint.
His eye as a painter can be noticed in the much thought of composition of the garden.
Every where perspectives draw the sight, offering a ready made composition to the artist.
by Ariane ~ April 4, 2014
Blanche Hoschedé-Monet was at the same time Monet’s step-daughter, because he married her mother, and his daughter in law, because she married his son. She inhabited Monet’s house at Giverny until she died in 1947, taking loving care of the estate.
Her bedroom has been restored this winter and is now opened to the public. The furniture -bed, commode, bed table- had been left in the house. What was missing was carefully hunted in antique shops. The result is very charming, lively and poetic. On the walls hang several authentic paintings, including a Grainstack, snow effect (circa 1890) by Blanche, who was Monet’s pupil, and a Mother and Child (circa 1906) by Manzana-Pissarro.
by Ariane ~ February 14, 2014
Mary Cassatt – Mother Holding a Child (around 1890)
Oil on canvas, 81 × 65,5 cm, Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
© Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
The French museum dedicated to the different branches of impressionism, Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny, is housed in a building that was once the Museum of American Art Giverny.
This year, american impressionist paintings will be back in the galleries of the MDIG thanks to a new exhibit entitled “American Impressionism: A New Vision”.
From 28 March till 29 June 2014, 80 works by Cassatt, Robinson, Chase, Whistler, Sargent, Hassam or Tarbell will show how American painters adopted and adapted the new impressionist style by the end of the 19th century.
In a single word: it’s beautiful. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
by Ariane ~ January 15, 2014
Late May or early June, Monet’s garden turns mostly purple. On the pond banks, mauve ladies’ rocket matching exactly the big rhododendrum on the other side of the path combines with mauve or blue lupines, pink sweet Williams, white fox gloves and blue sages. The mauve turns progressively into pink to fit with the beautiful tree of roses. This scene doesn’t last long, but it is of great effect. It follows the bulbs period and will be followed by summer flowers. (click for more details)
by Ariane ~ January 6, 2014
Happy new year, and best wishes for 2014!
Here is the stunning ‘black’ garden of the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny (Museum of Impressionisms).
The garden was created twenty years ago, this is why it indulges in this modern fashion for so called black flowers. Aren’t they amazing with their dark foliage or petals?
Of course black doesn’t exist for flowers, it’s always very dark red or purple, anyway unexpected hues for flowers.
Planting them together like here, and not just as accents, produces a very special effect, surprising and maybe a little bit disturbing, doesn’t it? I like the black garden, but I love the white one next to it!
The American impressionists will be back in 2014 in the gallery of the MDIG, that used to be the Museum of American Art Giverny, founded by Daniel Terra. The first exhibit will open on March 28, 2014 and is entitled “Impressionism and the Americans”. Featuring works by Cassatt, Whistler and Sargent, among many others, it will last until June 29, 2014. And for sure the impressionist painters used all the colors of the palette, not only black and white.
This exhibition will be followed by a second one focusing on Belgian artists, “Brussels, an Impressionist Capital” from July 11, 2014 to November 2, 2014.
by Ariane ~ December 31, 2013
Here is a not so famous painting by Monet that was on display in a recent exhibit at the Musee de Louviers, not far from Giverny. This oil on canvas is privately owned.
The title is “Blanche Painting with her Sister Suzanne on the Water Side”. It was painted in 1887 by Claude Monet.
Blanche was the daughter of Monet’s second wife Alice. She became his daughter-in-law by marrying Jean Monet, the painter’s eldest son.
Blanche was a talented artist. She often painted the same landscapes as Monet, in her own impressionist style, sometimes very similar to the style of the master.
Her sister Suzanne appears on numerous canvases, because she was a pretty young woman. Monet had her posing for his two attempts of a figure in open-air, aka as the girl with a parasol. (Musee d’Orsay, Paris)
by Ariane ~ December 9, 2013
The golden bamboos planted by Monet on the island of his water garden at Giverny reflect into the flowing water of the rivulet le Ru, producing ever changing broken lines.
Under the surface, the bright green of algaes.
A magnet for the eye…
(Click on the picture to enlarge.)
by Ariane ~ November 17, 2013
The common name of this beautiful flower that grows in Monet’s water garden is a bit strange: it’s called toad lily.
The appearance of this perennial is more orchid like.
It requires a moist soil, as do toads, part shade under trees, and in these conditions it is very hardy.
The tricyrtis appears late in season.
This picture was taken in October.
by Ariane ~ November 9, 2013
On the 30th of October, the perfectly serene pool in Claude Monet’s garden offers a mirror view of the world around.
Blue sky and turning trees create a bold contrast between the still floating water lily pads.
(Click on the picture to enlarge).