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.
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. 🙂
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!