France: Claude Monet House And Garden - Impessionism In All Its Beauty
Claude Monet, urnamed Oscar Claude Monet (1840-1926) was French impressionist painter and one of most famous artists of such type at all. His paintings of countryside, during various year saisons, i.e. a play of light and shade, are generally known. He dedicated also many pictures to Japanese garden, as, for instance, to water-lily lake, located on his ground.
The village of Giverny is situated in north-west direction, 70 kilometres distant from Paris, and 2 kilometres from the town of Vernon, where Seine-river flows through. Coincidentally, since 1887, several popular painters, mostly from America, settled there (such as: Sargent, Metcalf, Taylor, Wendel). Local countryside fully fascinated them. To tell the truth, most of them did not know about Monet´s presence at all. Monet discovered the village of Giverny during one of his trip by train, when he could enjoy a view of local countryside and he fell in love with it immediately.
In 1883, he moved to local desert home (he bought it after seven years, in 1890). At that time, Giverny had approx. 300 inhabitants, and the farmers formed most of them. Monet let to be inspired for garden arrangement by surrounding countryside as well as Japanese garden architecture. This fact is proved with a picture with famous lake with water-lilies or typical Japanese bridge passing above this pond. The regeneration of the garden to the picture – from orchard to Kingdom of flowers - took Monet approx. 10 years. The visitors of both parts of the garden (Japanese as well as flower garden) have the possibility to have a look living „bases“ for many of Monet works. From the beginning, he used the spaces of a barn as his atelier. This section was connected with the house by means of wooden stages, which led upstairs, to the first floor. It is true that Monet made his pictures mostly in open fresh air but he needed a space for his final arrangements of his works. Later, in 1910, the barn spaces were too small for him, so, he transferred into unused garden house, with glassed ceiling, at an extention of 300 square metres, where great canvasses as well as his painter´s instruments could be stored. Two building wings, which Manet let to construct later (just as house-owner) are to be distinguished, especially those with wide windows, which contrast to those small, in central section of the house. In general, the whole building is illuminated very well. Even great kitchen with a capacity of ten persons. is worth to be mentioned. During time period, when Monet lived here, each room was full of pictures, made by his friends - painters, such as. Cezanne, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Signac, etc.
However, after the 2nd Worls War, the house and a garden started to change into ruins. The renovation was a work of Gerard van de Kemp and Andre Devillers (he cooperated before with George Truffaut, gardener, frequent guest in Monet´s house). Thanks to bounteous gifts, mostly from USA, the house managed to be successfully restored. Since September 1980, the building was open for public. Its space arrangement is quite interesting: the ground-plan has rectangular form of dimensions 40x5 metres. Even small Impressionism Museum was arranged there. Some pictures are originals, mostly with Japanese motifs, the other are represented with copies, as the original are to be found in various French Museums.
The garden is open for visitors daily, in the course of seven months – since 1st April till 1st November. The complex is visited by half million of persons. You can make photos in the garden, but inside the house it is not permitted. Souvenir kiosk is situated close to the museum. Here, you can buy copies of famous Monet pictures as well as memory coins.
Ticket prices (2011):
Adults: EUR 8,-
Students: EUR 5,-
Invalides: EUR 4,-
Children aup to the age of 7 years: free of charge
Different prices are valid, provided ordered via internet and in case of groups.
Jardin de Monet a Giverny
99, rue Claude Monet
Text: J. Štantejský
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo: M. Babická, Monet (1), Monet (2), Monet (3), Monet (4)
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