Normandy is full of places to discover, one of these is the village of Giverny, became famous thanks to Claude Monet. Among the impressionists and painters in general, Monet is certainly my favourite one. I would spend entire days staring at his paintings, composed by quick brush strokes and feeble and quivering dyes. I was thinking to visit his home since time, to find myself in those magical places that I’ve always seen only on canvas, but I wasn’t able to “create” the situation. Until now.
Monet moved to Giverny in 1883 and lived there with Alice, his second wife, and their kids until 1926.
Someone told me that the best period to visit Monet’s house is between June and July, when the sun illuminates everything and the grasses are green, luxuriant anf full of flowers like roses, iris and tulips. Summer probably gives to the house the maximum of its beauty, but see that place during fall is as wonderful as in summer, with nature that prepares herself to the winter, flowers start to drop their petals, trees’ leaves turned to differents shades of yellow, orange, red and bronze.
On 23th of October, my alarm clock rang very early. The train to Vernon left from Gare Saint-Lazare at 8:20 AM, but I prefer to arrive with large advance, just to be safe. We arrived in Giverny at 9:35 AM, 5 minutes after the opening and no one in the gardens. The harmony and calm felt there were quite surreal, something that I can’t say to words. Walking along the narrow boulevards, you can feel yourself right inside Monet’s painting.
The house is pretty, a two-story house pastel pink coloured and shutters with an intense green-bottle shade. The ground floor is composed by five rooms: a tea room, a pantry, Monet’s study, a dinning room and the kitchen. At first floor we can find the bedrooms. Monet’s bedroom is right above his study. Both of them have got wide windows, letting the sun comes inside and giving a wonderful view of the garden.
The dinning room is very characteristic, walls and forniture are yellow, a bizzare but avantgarde choice for that time. The last room is the kitchen, where walls are made of blue-and-white tiles and pans and copper pots hang from shelves and walls. Everything seemed to be at its original place.
The place wasn’t crowded, only a few tourists organized by groups, principally old people. I admire these people because even if they have some difficult to walk, due to their age, they do not surrender and carry on the visit. They showed me a very strong will, and I hope to have as much one day.
It was very exciting to see for myself the places that inspired some of Monet’s paintings.
Every thing you see deserves to be immortalized on canvas, and that explains why Monet painted so much: he lived surrounded by a wide variety of inspiration sources.
Monet created the water garden (on an oriental inspiration) where is located the famous waterlilies pond, and there he built the renowned green Japanese bridge, depicted several times in his paintings. Monet is principally famous for his waterlilies, painted for many years since 1899, realizing at least 250 canvases. He was not inspired by the flower itself, but rather by the study of the light on water and its movement, that became the protagonist of his pictures.
The blooming period of waterlilies goes from May to September. During my visit there was just one lily, nearly dead, but their lack didn’t change that magic place.
It has been the “game” created by the light on the water and the reflex of weeping willows, trees and flower to fill the lack of liles. Water was coloured of autumn.
If someone asked me to describe how I imagine the Eden, then I’ll start to talk about the waterlilies pond, the weeping willows, the bamboos, the twittering of birds among the trees, the flowers by thousand colors and smells, the pretty pastel coloured house and the alleyway full of shrubs.. well, I’ll describe Monet’s garden.
It is one of the most astonishing place I’ve ever visited in my life, the air is enchanted and it’s not possible to remain indifferent in front of this wonder of nature.