Entries Categorized as 'Claude Monet'

Monet is Charlie

January 12, 2015

caricature-monet

Claude Monet, ‘L’homme au petit chapeau’ (The Man in the Small Hat) 1855/56, Art Institute of Chicago.

Monet started his career as a caricaturist. The Art Institute of Chicago keeps one of his most ancient drawings, this man in a small hat made when he was 15 years old. Because the title is so vague and the drawing rather respectful, we can imagine that this young person may have been Monet’s school mate. Later on, Monet became more offending by drawing what was not yet called the people of Le Havre, as we say in French: the upper middle class bourgeoisie of his city

I must say this is not the Monet I like best. But it reflects the impulsive and rebellious personality of the painter. Twenty years later, it was Monet’s turn to be mocked, when he dared show his avant garde paintings  at the first impressionist exhibition in Paris.

This is how liberty goes. Monet and his friends opened new fields of liberty. The freedom to paint how I like, what I like. The freedom to exhibit and find buyers.

But Monet wanted more. Later on Monet still fought for the admission of Manet’s ‘Olympia’ in the state collections. He didn’t paint for a year to dedicate to this mission. He wanted public recognition of this new freedom.

In matter of politics, Monet was not the kind of artist that withdraws in one’s studio. He was friend with Zola and supported him during the Dreyfus Affair, because he felt things were not fair and had much to do with anti-semitism.

This is how he lived, secluded in the village of Giverny but reading the newspapers, keeping an eye on the world, speaking with Clemenceau.

Monet would have been Charlie.

 

 

The Desk in Monet’s Bedroom

December 27, 2014

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Here is a close-up of the desk that can be seen in Claude Monet’s bedroom at Giverny. It is from the mid 18th Century and features music instruments, not painting material. It was already an antique when Monet purchased it.

During the second half of his life Monet became famous. Recognised as a great painter, he sold his paintings at high prices. This enabled him to live a comfortable life.

The desk was restored last winter and found its original colors again.

Monet’s Grave

December 5, 2014

monet-grave

Claude Monet is buried at Giverny. His grave is located behind the church. It’s a 10 minute walk from his house.

It is a big family tomb planted with flowers, what sounds only natural for such a great gardener. Monet rests together with his second wife Alice, his two sons Jean and Michel and their wives. Susan, a daughter of Alice, and Alice’s first husband Ernest Hoschedé also keep Monet company. It is rather ironical that Monet and his rival rest in the same grave.

The reason is that Ernest was the first one to die, and his children -raised by Monet- wanted him to rest in Giverny to be able to go on their father’s grave easily. The next one to pass away was Susan. Logically, she was buried with her father. Alice never recovered from this latter grief. When she succumbed to leucemia, she joined her beloved daughter in her last residence. Next came Jean, Monet’s son, and Claude Monet himself. He died the 5th of December 1926 from lung cancer.

More Peaceful Than Ever

November 24, 2014

november-giverny

Fall atmosphere in Monet’s gardens at Giverny.

The picture was taken from the steps of the dock next to the water lily pond.

On the left, the green leaves of pontederias.

The red shrub on the opposite bank is a Japanese maple.

In the distance appears the pink house with green shutters, Monet’s home for 43 years.

On the right, through the branches, the third studio where Monet painted his biggest water lilies panels.

November at Giverny

November 10, 2014

giverny-november

Do you want to have a look at the Monet Garden while it is closed for the winter?

Here is the Japanese bridge as it was this morning.

Giverny is now closed for five months.

The village will awake again next spring.

The first day for visiting the gardens will be Saturday 28 March, 2015.

Perspective

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.

Purple Harmony

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)

Holly

January 10, 2011

This tree standing alone next to the greenhouse in Monet’s garden at Giverny is a holly.

Not a wild, ordinary one: it has beautiful golden rimmed leaves. Nonetheless, the holly disappears in the magnificence of flowers during the season, when the garden is in full bloom. Nobody takes any notice of the flowerless tree.

During the winter, on the contrary, when all the flowers are dead or waiting for better times to come, the holly recovers its majesty. This is probably  why its prickly leaves and red berries are very much related to the time of Christmas and New Year.

Summer Light

September 13, 2010

Summer is coming to an end, offering a large display of flowers in Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny.
The flower beds that looked organised in early season are now full of overgrown plants, sunflowers, dahlias, cosmos…
 Under the clematis, smaller borders catch the morning light dancing on the freshly watered gauras.

A Taste of Heaven

June 3, 2010

Monet’s garden at Giverny is so beautiful at the turn of May and June that it has a taste of Paradise.

 In this season, spectacular flowers like irises, paeonies, wallflowers and roses bloom all at the same time.

The small walks of the garden disappear, leaving the illusion of a divine meadow adornated by the most exquisite flowers.

Not to speak about the delicate scent floating in the air…

Sunrise on Giverny

May 1, 2010

Early in the morning, long before the first visitor arrives in Monet’s garden at Giverny, rays of orange sunshine stroke the Japanese bridge of the water garden, while a light mist raises from the pond.

 Monet, who was an early bird, loved to get up before sunrise, in order not to miss a second of the dramatic show of light and water.

 

Through the Willow

January 21, 2010

Walking around Monet’s pond in summertime gives a strange feeling of deja vu.

This place especially, where the long branches of three big weeping willows reach the surface of the pond, offering views on to the blooming water lilies, looks familiar.

Claude Monet loved this spot that he painted over and over again, and that is even featured on the huge Grandes Decorations at l’Orangerie.

The vertical lines mixed with the floating water lilies and the reflections on the surface of the pond challenged his command of perspective.

Snow at Giverny

January 8, 2010

Monet’s pond is frozen.

A small coating of snow hides the surface like a new canvas.

Long blue shadows stretch on the shining whiteness.

 Not a single flower.

 Even the brave pansies are covered with a blanket of snow.

No colors, except for the green bridges.

Birds are hiding, but their prints are everywhere, like strange words written in the snow.

And the running water of the river reminds that life is awaiting under the appearant death of nature.

Monet’s Bedroom

September 19, 2009

A detail strikes the visitors who enter Monet’s bedroom at Giverny: the bed is ridiculously small.

Claude Monet wasn’t very tall, and he didn’t share his bed with his wife. They had separate bedrooms. Not because they didn’t care, but rich families copied the aristocracy and had separate ‘appartements’, though they were connected.

Monet could get up very early without waking his wife. He loved to paint before sunrise, when the river is still covered with mist.

The bed and the armoire, which were not very expensive furniture, were painted according to Monet’s taste.

Monet had gorgeous views over his garden from his bedroom’s three windows. The painter designed his bedroom, he had it built just over the first studio. He wanted a lot of light in it.

The bedroom was the place where he hung his collection of impressionist paintings by his friends, an incredible collection of 35 canvases including 12 paintings by Cézanne, many Renoirs, Sysleys, Morisots, Manets and so on.

The desk is a beautiful antique from the 18th century.

Success for the Monet Exhibition at Giverny

August 13, 2009

Over 100 000 visitors will have seen the beautiful exhibition of 28 paintings by Monet at the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny.

The exhibition started on May 1st ends on Saturday 15 August.

It will have met all the expectations by attracting crowds of Monet lovers in the village where the canvases, mostly featuring Nympheas, had been created.

The next exhibition opening on 23 August is dedicated to the oversized and colorful paintings of American artist Joan Mitchell.  Joan Mitchell, a master of expressionism, was inspired by Monet’s Nympheas. She lived for years in Vetheuil, her studio neighboring Monet’s house on the river side.

For the museum, it will be sort of a flash-back to its origins. Before becoming the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny, it used to be the Musee d’Art Americain Giverny.