Client: Back-Roads Touring
Claude Monet and Impressionism
Impressionist work is the essence of an imperfect world that has been marred by the throes of time. These paintings were not symmetrical or idealised, but simply a passing flicker of what the artist saw and this was portrayed onto a canvas. Monet is without a doubt, the most revered and celebrated Impressionists from the era. His paintings masterfully captured the subtleties of light and perfectly visage the fleeting qualities of everyday scenery. His unconventional and striking creations started a movement which has been adored for centuries and will be for much more to come.
It was a movement coloured by dreamlike imagery and pure colours, it marked a historic shift from realism which had dominated Europe for centuries. The impressionist painted with a loosened grip and with wavy brushstrokes. It was a form which perfectly encapsulated the artist’s fondness of the natural light and its shifting dynamics, to such an extent where artists would exclusively paint outdoors for inspiration.
From 1883 until his death in 1926, Monet lived Giverny, an idyllic village on the footsteps of Paris. It is here where Monet created some of his most exquisite works which focused on a singular image, such as ‘Waterlilies’, ‘Haystacks’, and ‘Rouen Cathedral’.
Immerse yourself into the world of Monet. You can take a tour of his pink-plastered house and visit his dining room, reading room and personal studio, which makes for resoundingly intimate experiences. After which, you can traverse the poetic and vibrant scenery that inspired his vivid paintings. He was passionate and full life, and his house and gardens are an embodiment of his character. Brimming with incredible colours and horticultural perfection, Monet’s house and gardens are a place of pure poetry.
The Clos Normand and The Water Lilly Gardens
In 1893 Monet purchased land near his property which featured a pond, why he always intended to turn into a work of art. Monet’s gardens are renowned for their dreamlike and hazy qualities which are owed to the translucent and soft lighting that is native to Giverny. Complete with layered flower beds, quaint stone paths, and tranquil waters, these sights and sounds were Monet’s private muse. What makes the gardens even more interesting is the fact they are his own creation, and this relationship between painter and horticultural make visiting the gardens are a remarkable experience.
There are two gardens, the Clos Normand and the Japanese Water Gardens. The former is of more traditional European design, notably featuring roses, tulips, irises, and peonies. Distinct gravel stone partitions separate the various flowerbeds that blanket the garden, giving each its own unique atmosphere. The individual plants, however, are quite loose, giving the gardens a natural flavour which is in keeping with his artwork.
A short distance away is the Water Lilly Gardens. In 1893 Monet purchased this adjacent patch of land near his property and intended it to be turned into a work of art. Monet’s fascination with oriental horticulture is well documented, and this garden is coated in weeping willows, water lilies, and bamboo’s in a varied and lush tapestry of vibrant colours. The famous Japanese bridge which forms the centrepiece, and from here, the experience of being in the garden is fully realised as every viewing angle depicts an entirely different motif and colour scheme.
Monet was just as attended a horticulturist as he was a painter. It is so rare that we are given the opportunity to fully realise the inspiration behind an artist’s work. A stroll through Monet’s garden will be an experience to be cherished.