Early Morning

by Ariane ~ September 14, 2014

little-lane-giverny 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.

The mysterious Owl of Giverny

by Ariane ~ August 15, 2014

dontdisturbowl 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…

Water Lilies in their Glory

by Ariane ~ June 7, 2014

giverny-water-lilies That many.

That plenty.

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.

 

Perspective

by Ariane ~ May 17, 2014

giverny-bamboogrove 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.

Blanche’s Bedroom

by Ariane ~ April 4, 2014

blanche-hoschede-monet-bedroom

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.

American Impressionists Exhibit in Giverny

by Ariane ~ February 14, 2014

0011

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. 

Purple Harmony

by Ariane ~ January 15, 2014

purple-harmony 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)

2014 in Giverny

by Ariane ~ January 6, 2014

mdig-black-garden 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.

 

Blanche Painting

by Ariane ~ December 31, 2013

blanche-paintingHere 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)

Colors on the Water

by Ariane ~ December 9, 2013

bamboo-reflection 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.)

Tricyrtis

by Ariane ~ November 17, 2013

toad-lily 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.

Autumn Peace

by Ariane ~ November 9, 2013

giverny150 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).

Before the Storm

by Ariane ~ September 18, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA An unusual light on Monet’s water lily pond, while big dark clouds are loaming ahead… Just time enough to walk around the pound, and the drops will start to fall on the surface of the pool in hundreds of little circles.

Blue Flowers

by Ariane ~ September 6, 2013

giverny-kitchen-window According to Claude Monet’s step son Jean-Pierre Hoschedé, the painter loved blue flowers.

This beautiful solanum, a plant belonging to the family of tomatoes and potatoes, is covered with simple little blue flowers.

It matches the colors of the kitchen window with its blue squared curtains, a very typical french pattern called vichy fabric.

In late Summer, plants are at the top of their heigth. With a bit of imagination, the flowers of the Giverny garden look like big waves splashing against the walls of the house.

The First Studio

by Ariane ~ August 29, 2013

monet-first-studio The large window of Monet’s first studio at Giverny looks like an eye scrutinizing the flowers of the garden in order to paint them.

It opens onto the little rose garden, a corner that is rarely explored by the visitors of Giverny.

See two posts below the view from the inside, giving the illusion of a painting.