To visit Monet’s Giverny is to walk into an Impressionist painting. Stroll the gardens and you will see how Monet’s visions of water lilies, flowers gardens and the Japanese bridge became some of the most beautiful paintings in the world.
Claude Monet was the leading light of the Impressionist movement when he revolutionized painting in the 1870s with a group of like-minded but independent painters. Monet loved to lead open-air painting excursions into the countryside to paint everyday things (landscapes, flowers, seascapes, and people) in bright colors.
By 1883, Monet was an established and successful artist. He decided to settle into a farmhouse 50 miles outside of Paris in the town of Vernon with his wife and eight children.
Over the next 40 years, he would not only create his paradise but paint it into some of his most famous paintings and series
Nympheas Serie (1) (1897 – 1908) & Nympheas Serie (2) (1914 – 1919)
The Japanese bridge over the Water-Lily Pond (1899 – 1900) & By the waterlily pond (1914 – 1925)
The village of Giverny
Claude Monet lived in his home at Giverny for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926. The home was inherited by his son Michel and then passed onto the Academie des Beaux-Arts upon Michel’s death in 1966. The property was refurbished with donations (especially from the USA) and has been open to the public since 1980. Over 500,000 people visit this site during the 7 months it is open per year.
Japanese Water Garden
In 1890, Monet started renovating his garden, inspired by tranquil scenes from the Japanese prints he collected. He diverted a river to form a pond, planted willows and bamboo on the shores, filled the pond with water lilies, then crossed it with a wooden footbridge. As years passed, the bridge became overgrown with wisteria. He painted it at different times of day and year, exploring different color schemes.
This was definitely the favorite part of the visit. You literally can see the inspirations for the paintings. I started my visit here and then circled back at the end and marveled at the views in different light. It is no wonder that Monet was so inspired to create some of the most treasured paintings of nymphae’s here. The chorus of frogs was also fun to hear.
Monet’s Giverny Home
- Tickets: Giverny Website Order tickets in advance to avoid lines which are long.
- Time to Go: Monet’s garden is incredibly beautiful from April to October. Flowers varieties are blooming one after another so that the garden changes gradually with the seasons while keeping its colors and brightness.
- Monet’s Art: The entrance to Musée A.G. Poulain in Vernon is free on Wednesdays. A room is dedicated to Impressionists painters.
- Books: In France the books are at the same price no matter where ever you buy them, due to the “unic book price law”. The Giverny museum has a very extensive so pick up your favorite here.
- Vernon Events: Spend the Friday’s night in Vernon or arrive early on Saturday and go and see Vernon’s market. It takes place on three squares of the center of the town and you will find all sorts of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, delicacies, living poultry, fresh eggs in big baskets, flowers, honey from Vernon, and clothes. From 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.