Monet’s garden has a colourful character all of its own. From 1883 to 1926, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) lived at Giverny. There he designed a garden ablaze with flowers and colours which would become his favorite model for painting. Restored in 1976 for l’Acadamie des Beaux Arts (there are even ‘dindons’ – turkeys, in a small enclosure) the estate extends across the hillside overlooking the Valley of the River Epte. In the lower part, the stylistically eastern water-garden with its famous wisteria and water-lilies still appears to await the dazzling eye of the master for a final canvas. In front of the famous pink house a feast of colour climbs and spreads before one’s eyes.
Claude Monet was the leader of the Impressionists, the term being derived in 1874 from his landscape, ‘Impression Soleil Levant’. He liked painting a subject in the open air at different times of day to show variation in light. Here is an opportunity for the photographers in our group to create their own ‘Monets’ in the image of the original paintings! You will find a good choice of Monet souvenirs in the visitors’ centre. You can see Monet’s wonderful collection of Japanese prints on the walls inside his house.
Also in this delightful village is the Musee Americain Giverny which was opened in 1992. Funded by the Terra Foundation for the Arts in America, the museum enables the visitor to explore the historical connection between French and American artists throughout the Impressionist and other 19th and 20th century periods.