Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies”
The Musee de l’ Orangerie along the River Seine has one of the most celebrated collections of Impressionist art including Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” in which he recreated his gardens in Giverny, 80 kilometers northwest of Paris in the province of Normandy.
We had seen “Water Lilies”in 2009 and had to return to see Monet’s works and the very impressive way they are displayed in two oval-shaped galleries with contemporary arm-less sofas in the center. Viewers can walk around the two galleries, admiring Monet’s detailed brushwork up close or standing back to see the breath-taking sweep of his scenes.
Viewing “Water Lilies” is a spiritual experience, feeling an emotional connection with Monet, his love of nature, and especially of his Giverny gardens.
Monet was born in Paris in 1840, His family moved to Normandy, but returned to Paris where he began painting outdoor scenes around the River Seine. He met and befriended many artists in Paris, in particular Edouard Manet. French artists in the late 19th century were experimenting with light and bold brush strokes, called plein-air landscape painting. Monet is considered the founder of French Impressionism, named after his Impression, Sunrise.
One of Monet’s models was Camile Doncieux, the subject of many of his works including Camile, The Woman in the Green Dress, Woman with Parasol, Women of the Garden, and Woman on the Seine. They married in 1870 and had two sons, Jean and Michel. Camile contracted tuberculosis in 1876 and died in 1879 at the age of 32.
Monet moved to Giverny after the death of Camile and rented a farm-house with a barn that he converted into a studio. He began painting Giverny landscapes and undertaking projects including building a Japanese bridge over a pond, installing lily ponds, and planting gardens. When his works began selling in Paris galleries, Monet used his wealth to buy the Giverny farm, hire gardeners, and expand his gardens.
Monet died in 1926 at the age of 86. His surviving son, Michel, took over the Giverny farm and donated it to the French Academy of Fine Art in 1966. Monet’s Giverny home, which includes his collection of Japanese woodcuts, is visited by many tourists, artists, and art lovers.
Monet is buried in the cemetery at the Giverny church.
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Next stop: Sydney, Australia
As many of you know, I also write mysteries and romantic suspense novels.
I recently published my first international thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan, which is available on Kindle as well as other ereaders, tablets, and smartphones.
I’m back in Europe for the summer to hire a translator and to research my next book which will also be a thriller based in Milan. I’ll be posting along the way from Milan, Stresa, Zurich and other locations.
I have a few posts on another blog, Anatomy of a Thriller, where I write about the process of researching and writing an international thriller. I’ll add more posts there as well.
Please share these links with writers or readers who might be interested.