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.

 

A Country Garden

April 19, 2012

giverny-green-doorOne of the charms of Monet’s flower garden is its countryside look. This secluded garden is surrounded by high stone walls typical for the backyards in the region of Giverny. While the houses open on to the streets, the walls are pierced by little wooden doors leading to narrow paths between the estates.  In Monet’s flower garden, this one was the way to the cottage of the head gardener in Monet’s times.
Against the walls, espaliered pear and apple trees recall the former use of the garden as an orchard, before Monet turned it into a magnificent impressionist garden. The straight alleys look like those of the kitchen garden it used to be.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2012

giverny-sunriseBest wishes
from Giverny
for a splendid
year 2012
full of light
and beauty!

Monet’s Greenhouse

December 21, 2011

monet-greenhouseAre you curious to have a look inside of Monet’s greenhouse, that is not open to the public?
I was! With the allowance of the gardener, I took this picture last July.
Even in Summer many plants need to be kept inside. Some of them will decorate the house, others will be used to adornate the meeting rooms when VIPs come to Giverny, others are waiting for being planted, others are mother plants…
Monet was such a keen gardener that he built a greenhouse on the location of this one, on the left side of the flower garden. It was heated, and the painter cultivated orchids and exotic ferns. He also grew his seedlings in the greenhouse.

Monet’s House in October

December 2, 2011

house-monetFlashing reds and greens in the soft light of October, this is what Monet’s garden offers in October in the area in front of the painter’s house.
The “Monet green” spreads on benches, shutters, stairs… creating a strong contrast with the formal geranium beds and the virginia creeper on the façade.

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.

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.
If you are inspired by Monet’s kitchen, here is a tip to bring Giverny into your home: traditionally manufactured tiles copying Monet’s tiles are now available. They are made in France and they look great. If you would like more information about the tiles, just leave a comment on this post, I will not publish it. You will get a direct answer in your mail box.

Fusion and Profusion

November 8, 2010

In his water garden at Giverny, Claude Monet planted tall trees like weeping willows, ash trees, chestnut trees, poplars, copper beeches…

They were underplanted by shrubs that offered their interesting foliages, flowers, berries, and scents: roses, tree peonies, azaleas, rhododendrons, viburnums, Japanese maples, ferns…

These shrubs were underplanted by flowers, for example flag irises, to provide a touch of vibrant color.

Thus, Monet created a little world that resembled a clearance in the woods.

 He liked to feel blended with nature. Staring at the reflections of the sky into the pond, he could loose any notion of himself and merge into the waterscape.

Nympheas

February 22, 2010

The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco surprises French visitors by the words written on the pediment of the main entrance : Honneur et Patrie. Surprises continue with its beautiful collection of European art including five gorgeous Monets.

The biggest one faces visitors at the end of a perspective through several large rooms. It deserves this honor. This enormous canvas of Monet’s late period, painted during World War One, is certainly one of the most splendid masterpieces of the museum.

Monet focuses on two patches of water lilies floating on the pond in his garden at Giverny. Unlike many of the paintings in this series, this canvas is very bright. Vibrant reds and pinks pop out the flowers, contrasting with the soft greens of the lily pads and the pale blue of the reflected sky. Curiously enough, a cotton like cloud occupies the upper corner of the painting, when it should be reflected at the lower part of the canvas. It is one of Monet’s favorite game to mix all the landmarks to create confusion in the eyes of the viewer.

     

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.

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.

Vantage Point

July 10, 2009

The dock offers good views on the small bridge over Monet’s pond at Giverny.

There are six bridges in Monet’s water garden, the biggest being the one Monet painted so often. But the smaller bridge at the other end of the pond is very charming also.

This side of the garden is bathed by the sun in late afternoon. The warm light generates beautiful reflections on the surface.

One would like to do like Monet, just sit down and gaze at the water for hours, scrutinising the changing colors of nature.

April Light

April 8, 2009

This is how Monet’s garden looked on April 1st, the very first morning it was open this year.

The morning sun enhances the pure lines of the Japanese bridge, whereas the air is full of scent from spring flowers like daffodils, pansies and hyacinths.

The light of this early  hour has pink and blue notes and  a very special vaporous quality.

Everything looks renewed and fresh, ready for a new start.