Claude Monet is one of the most popular painters in France and is the founder of the French Impressionist style of painting. Monet’s Giverny home and gardens can be visited even now. An organization called Fondation Monet in Giverny preserves and runs Monet’s home and gardens. The place is one of the most visited sites in Normandy, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Monet’s Giverny home
Monet is believed to have lived here for a significant portion of his life between 1883 and 1926. The house was much smaller at that time than what it is today, as Monet had it extended so as to accommodate his huge family consisting of his wife and eight children.
“Monet rented the house where he would spend the rest of his life in May 1883 and immediately begun to create the garden in front of the house, which is called ‘Clos Normand.’ In November 1890, he was able to buy the house and the land. In 1893, he purchased another piece of land, back then behind the train tracks that run at the edge of the property. Here he created a water garden, the ‘Jardin d’Eau,’ with the famous water lily pond,” according to Atlas Obscura.
On the ground floor, you will find the blue sitting room, the pantry, and the studio sitting room. The studio is where Monet worked until 1899. This room was changed into a sitting room where coffee was usually served. The dining room is also situated on the ground floor, adorned with blue tiles and yellow furniture.
On the first floor, you will find the private rooms. The first one is Monet’s private room that was reconstituted in 2013. The room houses artworks and objects from Monet’s days. Then, you move into the dressing rooms, Monet’s wife’s bedroom, and a tiny sewing room. The last room on the floor is the bedroom of Monet’s stepdaughter, which is decorated with floral wallpaper.
Being fond of gardening, Monet used his painting knowledge of color, perspective, and light to make his garden as beautiful as possible. There are two sections to the garden. The one in front of the home is known as Clos Normand. This is where most of the flowering plants are planted along with climbing roses and ornamental trees. At the central alley, you will find iron arches adorned with roses.
The second section is the water garden that is based on a Japanese-style garden. Many of Monet’s greatest paintings are said to have been inspired by the water garden. The beautiful Japanese bridge and the rowboat from Monet’s time are still present. In addition to the water lilies, the garden contains weeping willows, wisteria, and a bamboo grove.
Monet’s Giverny home is open to the public from the end of March to the end of October. The best time to visit is during spring when the flowers in the garden are in full bloom. The house is open between 9:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Adults are usually charged a fee of 9.50 Euros (around US$11.00), while kids under the age of 7 can enter the place for free. Guided tours are available by appointment, with the guides communicating in English, German, and French. A normal tour usually lasts around 1 hour and 15 minutes.