Claude Monet didn’t just paint his famous garden, he also spent time doing ‘portraits’ of his home in Giverny.
Entering his house I was initially disappointed. There wasn’t a single Monet painting in sight and the first few rooms we saw were filled with Japanese prints that inspired so many artists of Monet’s generation.
The huge kitchen was painted an overwhelming lemon yellow, set off with checkered blue tiles and blue curtains, with lots of brass and copper pots as accents.
All of the windows in his home seem designed to catch the light.
This window overlooks Monet’s exuberant garden.
Each room was painted in intense pastels. I suppose they were popular in the late 1800s and while they certainly made great backdrops for Monet’s paintings, I found them overpowering.
The bedrooms were in the back, mostly in shadow.
The sitting rooms were filled with paintings, again not by Monet, but by his friends and fellow artists, particularly Cezanne.
Finally some paintings by Monet; his studio was crammed with them. This is one of Monet’s paintings of a woman in his sitting room, where the intense pastel colours of the walls is put to good effect.Monet’s studio space. I want one just like it! At the back is a painting of a woman walking past one of his light-filled windows.
Monet in his studio.Usually the entrance to Monet’s house has an additional fee; the day we were there it was included in with the garden entrance ticket. I think we would have skipped it if it was extra and that would have been our loss. It was definitely worth seeing to put the garden and Monet’s life into perspective.
More on our 2015 trip to Northwest France.