Giverny


Having heard from friends that Giverny was a spot not to be missed and having grown up with my mom, who modeled her dining room after Monet’s, it was natural that I would be excited to see the famous artist’s home. My parents had specifically timed their trip to allow them to visit Giverny before it was closed down for the winter so on Monday the three of us made our way out to this idyllic spot. It’s only a short train ride from Paris but it is an entirely different world. Pastoral, verdant, quiet.

Although it’s the end of October and some of the greenery isn’t quite at its peak, the setting is amazing and some of the creeping vines have turned lovely shades of orange and red. Here one can truly appreciate Monet’s creative use of color. His house is pink with bright green shutters, every square inch of the inside is painted cheerful saturated tones of pink, blue, yellow, lilac. And it works. Sadly, you’re not allowed to take pictures inside of the house but my dad (ever the rule-breaker) snapped a few. I wasn’t about to risk getting kicked out. So here’s a couple of the pictures he took.

Me in the kitchen checking out the gorgeous copper cookware.

Mom in the dining room.

The house really is worth a visit. If you like Japanese wood prints, Monet amassed one of the best collections in the world – they’re in nearly every room. If you like color, you’ll find it inspiring. And if you like Impressionists, you’ll just love knowing that Monet produced some of his best work here. And he threw great dinner parties – seriously, how fun would it have been to be a fly-on-the-wall for one of those soirees. A fly that was fluent in French, of course. 🙂

After the house, it was off to the gardens. And again, so incredibly beautiful.

Does this look familiar to anyone?

Yes, I went a little snap-happy. It really was amazing and I can’t wait to go back in the spring. Scotty wasn’t able to come with us on this visit, so I am looking forward to taking him back when it reopens. And I think it would be fun to schedule some time to walk around the little town surrounding Monet’s little compound. It was equally as charming.

If you are interested in visiting Giverny, which I would highly highly recommend, here’s a website with all sorts of useful information. There are also tours, but it’s very easy to catch the train from St. Lazare to Vernon. Once in Vernon you can rent a bike or take a bus out to Giverny – it’s about 7km – and I would highly recommend doing it on your own so that you can take time to linger. Also, there’s a great hotel past Giverny that serves some amazing moules frites – a Normandy specialty of mussels cooked in white wine and cream and served with fries…amazing! 

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
This entry was posted in Art, Giverny, Museums, Paris, photography, travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Giverny

  1. planaquarium says:

    Love the bold interior colors, and the gardens look like paintings themselves…thank you for sharing.

  2. Rea says:

    Hi Bec,
    I just read somewhere that though Monet’s house and gardens are closed on Mondays, if you want to go there and paint, it is possible to do so that day only. Reservations are required. So I may try to do that in the spring! How fun to have the place to one’s self and just soak up the loveliness for a full day! Your post is stunning and it is remarkable how some of your photos look like impressionist paintings. Thank you!

  3. Amanda says:

    So glad you went and enjoyed it. I just love Giverny. Did you do the bike ride from the station? If not, you and Scotty have to do that when you go back (and your mom is she goes to paint!!). The little Rue de Claude Monet is so charming too. One of my favorite memories of Paris.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hey Amanda,
      We loved it! We didn’t end up taking the bikes because it was a bit chilly and we were short on time. When Scotty and I go back, we’re definitely going to do that! Thanks for all the advice.
      🙂

  4. Gina Costa says:

    Hi Rebecca. My name is Gina Costa, and I have recently discovered your blog. I am enjoying it very much! It is like a little treasure every time I open my inbox and there is a post from you. It seems you are very much a kindred spirit. We have the same tastes, and enjoy similar things. I discovered your blog when I was searching for articles about Scotland. Sometimes your blog feels like a book I just can’t put down! I am now about halfway through reading all of your old posts. Never having visited Europe myself, it is such fun to see everything through your eyes and your camera lens. I do especially enjoy your photographs and descriptions- it is like looking through the photo album of a friend, and seems much more intimate than seeing the pictures in an article or book.

    Just a teensy bit about me, in case you ever wonder about the stranger who is enjoying your blog. 🙂 I grew up in Missouri (just outside of Joplin), but have lived in Ripon, California (in the Central Valley) for over 20 years. I’m about fifteen years older than you, have been married for 26 years, and have a fifteen- year- old son. I teach Special Education and have a passion for music and book, but the most important thing in my life is my faith. Someday I would like to travel the world like you are doing. Thanks again for giving me a little taste of what that is like. And those posts – please keep them coming!

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Gina,
      Thank you so much for your very kind and generous words! I too have lived in CA and MO, so we have a few more connections. Thanks for visiting! I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
      Cheers,
      Becca

  5. Graham Chernoff says:

    Love the pic of the trees with the big corner of sky in the top left. The tops of the trees really blend into the cloud in a very cool way. Slick. And was your dining room growing up actually that yellow? We were shocked by it: shock that it was ALL yellow and shocked that it works. N. & I have been playing a game recently of country house or amazing apartment, which would choose. Giverny or giant apartment in the 5th, which would you choose?

    • Rebecca says:

      Hey Graham,
      Thanks! And no, my mom didn’t paint the dining room that crazy yellow color! She had the big farmhouse table, the handmade French chairs with the reed seats, Monet’s china (which isn’t actually what’s at the house now), and she also collect Japanese wood block prints. So, the influences were strong…but not strong enough to convince my mom to tackle yellow walls with yellow trim. It is amazing how it actually works.
      And that choice is so hard. Right now, I would go with the huge apartment in the 5th. In 10-15 years, I think I would have to go with Giverny…as long as it came with several full-time gardeners and a life-time supply of antihistamines. 🙂 What about you?

  6. Amazing post! I’ve been to Giverny last August and I loved it! Breathtaking those water lilies 😉 and so charming his house. I was surprised how the rooms were exactly the same as they were in monet’s photographs from when he was alive

  7. Marty says:

    ‘verdant’ is a very good word for Giverny…i gotta go!

  8. Pingback: A Year in Review | Paris at my doorstep

  9. Pingback: Discovering Giverny « 1001 Scribbles

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