Entries Categorized as 'Monet’s House'

Forsythia For Ever

April 5, 2017

forsythia

Today at Giverny, at the entrance to Monet’s house, two forsythias grown in planters glow for the show.

Lace Curtains

February 26, 2015

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This picture was taken in one of the bedrooms of Monet’s home at Giverny. The house dates back to the mid-1800’s and most of the fixtures are still original, so I suppose this window handle is too. It is a very common model that can be seen in lots of houses of that time. Here it is painted the same pale blue as the window.

What is certainly much more recent are the curtains, although they look ancient and charming. But it is rare to find old curtains in good condition because the light and heat behind the window damage them rapidly. I suppose those were replaced at the restoration of the house in the 1970’s. They are machine made with sort of a floral pattern that resembles lace.

When I was a child I wondered. How can a curtain let us see through, but not enable people standing outside to peep in? Now I don’t any more. I take them for granted. A new surprise awaited me: I’ve realised since I work as a guide and chat with foreigners that curtains, especially lace curtains look french. Do you agree?

They also look country, in my opinion. I must confess that I am a big fan of the Country Living magazine, both the US and UK issues. It is very exciting to explore the country spirit overseas. To learn what people answer to the question ‘What makes my home country?’. Here the curtains would belong to these features. Monet’s house is at the same time a painter’s house, a house of the 19th century, the home of an upper-middle class family, and, being located in the country side, it is definitely a country house.

The Crystal Clear Pond

February 19, 2015

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As long as the water is still cold, the algaes don’t feel like growing. They wait patiently for better times to come.

In March, the water of Monet’s pond is so clear that the bottom looks close, offering shamelessly all its details to the view.

The uneven surface of the layer of mud resembles the moon, with mysterious craters everywhere. The planters of water lilies pop up in this desert like a lunar buggy.

The brave first leaves have made their way through the water to reach the surface, looking for sun and energy. They are still purple but will soon turn green.

In back light, when the weather is fine, innumerable stars twinckle on the surface where the light kisses the water.

This crystal clear water is the show awaiting the first Giverny visitors. In April, days get longer, warmer, and the inviting sunbeams awake grass, flowers, trees and algaes alike.

Some years, the water looses its transparency and  gets almost milky, to my delight, because I like the way it absorbs the colors, I find it lovely. After a while the water clears up again.

 

The Early Spring Garden

January 20, 2015

giverny-windowThis is what Claude Monet could see when he gazed through his bedroom’s window in April. Last year spring was very early and the first colors were already there at the opening of the garden. Wallflowers make a striking effect combined with tulips, while daffodils and jonquils form islands of white and yellow flowers on the lawns. In the distance, the tall trees of the water garden don’t have any leaves yet. It is just a matter of days.

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.

The mysterious Owl of Giverny

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…

Blanche’s Bedroom

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.

Blue Flowers

September 6, 2013

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

August 29, 2013

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.

 

Monet’s Studio

May 20, 2013

The first studio occupied by Claude Monet is part of his main house at Giverny. In this room, Monet stored the paintings he didn’t want to sell, to keep a record of the steps of his career.

Nowadays, the furniture is still authentic, as well as the objects decorating the room, but the paintings are all copies. Monet lined them on the walls on several rows up to the ceiling.

This studio was restored recently, it looks as if Monet had just left it.

Monet’s Property at Giverny

April 20, 2013

Monet’s property at Giverny is surrounded by high stone walls. This is nothing special in Normandy, as many estates and gardens are a so called ‘norman enclosure’, in French ‘Clos normand’. The walls are a good protection against rabbits and deers, and excellent for privacy.

Here is a pic of Monet’s second studio seen from the main street of Giverny, rue Claude Monet. This building is not open to the public. It houses offices and reception rooms for the administration of Fondation Claude Monet.

At Monet’s time, it was used as a studio where Monet stored the paintings for sale, and completed them if necessary. Monet designed the studio to receive northern light.

The big green gate was the gate to the garage sheltering his car, a Panhard Levassor that he bought in 1900.

On the far left, Claude Monet’s main house appears in the distance.

Monet’s Yellow Dining Room

December 17, 2012

Here is another view of Claude Monet’s yellow dining room at Giverny. Bright, charming, cozy, it is often considered inspiring by people seeking new ideas for their home.

The red and creamy tiles on the floor are typical for the local 19th Century style and can be found in many houses around. The furniture, including buffets and chairs, was also widely spread. Monet’s novelty was to paint it in these two tones of yellow.

Nevertheless, a strange spell lies on this dining room. Many visitors remember it as the “yellow kitchen”. However, the neighboring kitchen is absolutely blue, as you can spot through the door.

Opening 30 March 2013

October 5, 2012

Next year, the Easter week-end is the last week-end of March.

The direction of Fondation Claude Monet has thus decided exceptionnally to open the gardens of Giverny on Saturday 30 March at 9.30am.

This will be two days earlier than the normal date.

Read the rest of this entry »

French Country Style Entry

May 28, 2012

The painter Claude Monet had a special eye for refined and simple countryside elegance.

Here, the main entrance to his home at Giverny, an harmony of tender pink and bright green, enhanced by two blue Chinese pots.

The balance is obtained by the symetry of the decoration.

The curtains behind the iron cast door make it look like a puppet theatre.

Pink Tulip Beds

April 8, 2012

giverny-houseIn April, the pink facade of Monet’s house in Giverny responds to huge beds of pink tulips in front of the main entrance.

To create a shimmering effect, several varieties of pink tulips are planted, some redder, pinker or even orange, to resemble Monet’s brushstrokes on the canvas.

The pink tulips are underplanted by blue forget-me-not.