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.
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.
November 10, 2011
Monet 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.
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.
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.
May 21, 2008
Monet was 42 when he arrived in Giverny.
Let’s say he was in his forty-third year, and he spent forty three years in Giverny. Exactly half of his life!
When he arrived he was looking for a big house to live with his family. He was lucky enough to find this one.
He felt so happy there he never wanted to move anymore.