During my research on the Normandy road trip I was planning, I was searching for interesting things to do between Paris and the coast, in order to give my pilot some well-deserved rest.
That’s when I clicked – aren’t the famous Monet gardens in the area? I was really excited to visit what is perhaps the most iconic setting in the history of art, possibly the most colorful one, and undoubtedly the most romantic.
The first part of the visit is the Monet house itself – where the painter used to live in the 1880s, and most importantly, create.
It’s really interesting to visit the workshop of one of the world’s most famous and talented painters. I like how Monet also kept his Impressionist friends close to his heart – his bedroom walls were covered by Cézanne, Renoir and Manet paintings.
The house fell into disrepair after Monet’s death, and it wasn’t until the 1980s that it was restored to its full glory, and open for the public to enjoy.
The second part is an ode to the beauty of nature and the powerful smell of various flowers.
There are more types of plants and flowers than I can recall! It’s an especially fun place if you’re an amateur photographer, not unlike the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland. It was a lot of fun to wander around and try to capture the grandeur of the place, and the many textures. I could’ve easily spent a whole afternoon just there!
The third and last part of the visit is where you’ll find one of the most famous scenes of the history of the 3rd art – the water lily pond.
Monet had this pond dug after he moved to the estate, against his neighbors advice – they were worried his weird, exotic plants would poison the water! The pond is designed after the many Japanese prints Monet collected – an influence that is very obvious with the wooden bridges, the bamboo trees and the many nympheas.
In fact, it was the first time in the history of painting that an artist had shaped nature the way he wanted to paint it – for nature is what it is, the way it was created, not man-made. I think it’s interesting that Monet had this painting in mind before it even actually existed!
Monet Gardens in Giverny: Good To Know
- The Monet Gardens are accessible as a day trip from Paris is you’re vacationing in the area and fancy a bit of Normandy on the side. It really is a lovely place that goes beyond what words can describe – and that might be precisely why Monet decided to paint it, in an attempt to give the gardens the attention and love they deserve.
- For additional info, visit giverny.org.