Entries Categorized as 'Monet’s House'

Claude Monet’s Third Studio

November 10, 2011

monet-third-studioMonet was 76 when he decided he needed a new studio. This one is actually the third one he built on the premises.
After having turned a former barn with western light into his first studio, errected the second one with a big window on the northern facade, Monet decided he wanted the light to fall from the sky, and not from any other direction.
This is why the third studio has huge skylights. The entire roof is made out of glass.

Through the Window

September 29, 2011

A look through the window of Monet’s studio, on the ground floor of his house at Giverny.

The garden appears like an additional painting among the canvases hanging on the wall.

Monet’s First Studio at Giverny

April 3, 2011

monet-studioSixty replicas, that is to say very good copies, have just been hung on the walls of Monet’s first studio at Giverny, making the place even more atmospheric.

Untill last year, visitors could see prints on canvas on the walls. The new copies are now real paintings on canvas. They were made by a French gallery, galerie Trubetskoy in Paris. The chosen pictures were all in Monet’s own collection of his own work in his late years. These were the paintings he loved most and didn’t want to sell.

In addition, all the details of the studio have been checked on old photographs to be as accurate as possible. The result is stunning and really moving.

Monet’s Blue Kitchen

January 27, 2011

monet-kitchenVery striking in Claude Monet’s kitchen at Giverny are the blue tiles that cover all the walls.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010

My German friend Veronika Stark painted this view of Monet’s garden under the snow.

It has been white for almost two weeks lately, but now the snow has gone.

I wish you all a wonderful celebration of New year’s Eve and a peaceful 2011. Hope to see you at Giverny!

Monet’s Chickens

November 13, 2010

A few steps away from his home at Giverny, Claude Monet had a chicken yard full of hens, and Fondation Claude Monet still keeps a few chickens in this corner of the garden.

Just like Monet, they don’t choose every year the same breed. In 2010, visitors enjoyed looking at the funny Padua chickens, absolutely stylish with their fluffy feathers on the head.

Monet loved to have fresh eggs at hand, and the family must have eaten many every day, according to the storage available: in the pantry of Monet’s house, two boxes could contain 116 eggs!

But hens were not a sign of wealth for a family belonging to the middle upper class, this is why they were hidden in a corner of the garden under a big fig tree. However, their presence was revealed by crowing of the roaster.

Turkeys, on the contrary, were considered decorative fowl and were proudly shown in the turkey yard next to the kitchen.

Nowadays, the turkey yard displays turkeys and chickens together. The roasters of both yards like to have sort of a dialog, exchanging their cock-a-doodle-do. The big roaster in the turkey yard has a deep voice, the Padua roaster in the chicken yard a high pitched one, and when they talk together, they are absolutely irresistible.

I kindly dedicate this post to Cynthia Brian, the “Chicken Lady”, co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Gardener Soul”.

Closing Day

November 1, 2010

Today was the last day of the season at Giverny.

At 6.00pm, the flags at the entrance gate were taken in for the last time of the year and the last visitor left.

 The shutters of Monet’s home will stay closed tomorrow, while the gardeners will start their rush before frost.

They have to store fragile plants in the greenhouses, and pull out all the flowers to clean the beds and start thinking of next spring. Fall and winter are a busy time for the gardeners!

The village of Giverny

October 23, 2010

Giverny lies west of Paris, 80 km away from the city, in the Seine valley.

The river flows at the bottom of the hill on the background of the picture. It has carved deeply the tender chalk of the plateau, creating steep hills.

 The bottom of the valley is floodable, this is why the village was built at the foot of the hill. It stretches over three kilometers along a single street, now named after Claude Monet.

Only a small portion of Giverny can be seen on the photo. (click to enlarge)

 Right in the middle, you can see the big studio of Monet, recognizable thanks to the window panes on the roof. On its right, the long pink house with a slated roof is Monet’s home. And on the right of the house, the next building was Monet’s second studio (see the windows on the roof there too).

Behind these three buildings one can notice the garden. The trees on the pond side blend into the nature around, hardly noticeable by their more vibrant colors. And behind Monet’s gardens, fields show that there are good alluvial grounds here.

Nesting in its natural surroundings, Giverny is a rural village in the countryside, living on a slower pace than the big city of Paris. Being a nice day out is one of the assets of an excursion to the home of Claude Monet.

 

 

Monet’s Home in Winter

February 6, 2010

During the Winter, when Giverny is closed for five months, the shutters of Monet’s house remain shut.

It must be dark inside, but nobody cares. The shutters prevent the cold wind from entering the building, maintaining a thin layer of warmer air behind the windows.

I don’t know if the japanese prints are still kept hanging on the walls. If they are, darkness is a relief for their fragile colors.

Shut shutters look like closed lids. When it is cold outside, sleeping is the best thing to do, isn’t it?

So do the bulbs hidden in the flower beds and the buds on the branches. Yes, sleeping is the best option before a very long time of intense activity.

 

Monet’s Kitchen

November 10, 2009

Monet’s kitchen at Giverny has a delicious flavor of old fashioned kitchens, where the scent of jam seems to be still floating in the air.

Monet, as a gourmet, was very interested by all what was going on in the kitchen, but in his times it was a place for women only. He had a very good cook and collected recipes for her to test.

The kitchen Monet designed for his house is very well organised. Spacey, it is covered with blue Norman tiles. It could look cold, but all this blue is enhanced by the shiny coppers. An amazing collection of saucepans, pots and kettles of every shapes, to prepare delicious meals for a large bourgeois family and distinguished guests.

Autumn at Giverny

October 26, 2009

Monet’s gardens at Giverny will soon close: next Sunday in the evening, on November 1st. Just before their Winter sleep, they offer a gorgeous show on the side of the water garden.

The tall trees that surround the pond change their green or dark red colors for much brighter ones.

The taxodium becomes as red as a squirrel. It will last a few days and then it will loose its needles, until new ones grow next Spring, giving it a fresh green look.

Through the branches of the taxodium, like a spying eye, one can spot a window of Monet’s house in the distance.

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.

Monet’s Dining Room

August 2, 2009

I have just been given the right to take pictures inside of Monet’s House. I am thrilled being able to comment on this very special home I love!

Taking photographs in the museum is forbidden for several reasons, especially because of the very fragile japanese woodblocks that hang on the walls. Monet didn’t want his own work to decorate his home: it was work! He preferred something more exotic and fun. He would hang them everywhere except in his studio, in the kitchen and in his bedroom.

I don’t know what strikes visitors most when they enter the most beautiful room of the house, the famous dining room. The Japanese prints cover the walls, almost masking them, their mainly blue color matching the yellow furniture, walls and moldings.

It is strangely modern, especially when compared with the very heavy and dark fashion in matter of decoration in Victorian times. Bright, and stunning. Everybody says waow! when stepping inside of this yellow dining room, and most people like it. But for some visitors, it is too yellow.

Matter of Size

June 26, 2009

I had to wait until there were a few people at the entrance to Monet’s house in Giverny before I could take this picture. Generally I take great care there isn’t anybody on the snapshot. It was fun doing exactly the contrary, for a change.

I wanted to please Virginia, who paints lovely pictures of Giverny. While she was in Monet’s gardens, Virginia photographied his house, but once back at home she realised she missed the scale for characters.

Actually, the picture looks more lively with people on it. Why must we always wait and take empty pictures? To give the illusion we were alone on the site? Or just to avoid photographying people we have not been introduced to?

Monet’s house is not that easy to paint, because of the perspective. To see it you must stand on its side, for two yews hide the house when you face it. It was Monet’s idea to mask the building, as it is extremely long: about 40 meters, 130 feet! Strangely enough the house is very narrow, only 5 meters.

Monet in his studio

January 28, 2009

This is a view of Claude Monet standing in his first studio amidst his favorite canvases. The light of the afternoon is almost palpable.

This room located in his main house at Giverny was turned into his sitting-room after 1890.

When Monet became successful, he built a new house in the corner of his garden, where he moved his studio. He had now a well lit large room to work in and to store his paintings. The former studio became a place where he used to have a liquor after lunch, where he would sit to read a gardening book or a novel by Maupassant. Monet also used to write many letters.

The paintings for sale where displayed in the second studio whereas he kept the ones he cherished too much to sell them in the first studio.

The picture was made in springtime according to the tulips behind Monet. The photo reveals how much the painter loved flowers. There were at least six vases in his studio on this day!