February 26, 2015
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.
December 27, 2014
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.
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.
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.
June 8, 2008
Monet’s home in Giverny has three entrances, each one dedicated to a particular use.
This is typical for the time when the house was built, in the 19th century.
One door was devoted to Monet’s own use. It leads directly to his first studio and to the stairs to his bedroom. It enabled Monet to go in and out without disturbing the family life – he liked to get up exceedingly early in the morning – or perhaps without being disturbed by the family life – there were eight children in the family. This entrance could be called the professional one.
There was of course a main entrance for family members and guests.
The third one was a domestic entrance leading directly to the kitchen.