Claude Monetís Gardens at Giverny Just an hour trip from your favorite Paris hotel. Christopher Wagner
Less than one hour from your favorite hotel in Paris, Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny in Normandy are a magical divertissement from the City of Lights.
When the Painter settled in Giverny in 1883, his house, “le Clos Normand,” had approximately 2 acres of land that Monet turned into a garden full of perspectives, symmetries and colours.
Ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighboring his property on the other side of the railway and had the first small pond dug. Later on, the pond would be enlarged to its present-day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and curves. It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he avidly collected. By 1895 Monet was able to build the elegantly ornate Japanese Bridge.
After Claude Monet's death in 1926, his son Michel inherited the house and garden of Giverny. Michel did not live there and the house and garden were neglected. In 1966, Michel Monet made the Academie des Beaux-Arts his heir.
In 1977 Gérald van der Kemp was appointed Curator at Giverny. André Devillers, who had the opportunity to go with Georges Truffaut -- a distinguished gardener often invited to Monet's table --helped him reconstruct the garden as it was at the time the master lived there.
Giverny marks a crucial step in the evolution of Claude Monet’s painting: “Memory, rethinking, double-backing and moving through space all become part of the act of seeing,” to quote Stanford University’s Michael Marrinan. After 1912, the painter was diagnosed with cataracts, and Monet painted from memory, sometimes on the verge of abstract. His work can be seen in museums all over the world, but in Paris do not miss the Water Lilies at . See them before going to Giverny and then once again on your return to Paris . Last year half a million visitors went to Giverny, mostly on weekends. Here you can see why. To avoid them, go during the week, except on Mondays.
Opening hours are from 9.30am to 6pm. Go in late Summer or in Autumn; the seasons when Monet preferred to paint his gardens. The site is closed from November 1st to March 31st.
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-From the Archive- Art and Culture: Claude Monet in Paris