A DAY WITH CLAUDE MONET IN GIVERNY, written by Adrien Goetz and
with a foreword by Hugues Gall, takes readers on an unprecedented tour of the artist’s carefully crafted gardens as well as into his home and studio, both of which have been fully restored. Alongside photographs of the garden are reproductions of Monet’s masterpieces to illustrate how the flora and fauna influenced his art.
This handsome, slipcased volume also serves as a travelogue to the area highlighting points of interest, places to visit, and the region’s rich history. From breakfast at Le Coin des Artistes and a stay at the historic Hôtel Baudy, to a visit to the Musée des Impressionnismes and the Church of Sainte Radegonde, Goetz vibrantly captures the charm of the Norman countryside.
Monet and his family relocated to the rural haven outside Paris in 1883 after spotting the village of Giverny from the window of a train.
An artist with a passion for painting landscapes and outdoor scenes, Monet instantly felt at home in his garden at Giverny. For more than forty years, he renovated and transformed the space with willow and bamboo trees, beds of flowers of varying heights and colors, and a small, man-made
pond influenced by the Japanese prints he avidly collected to complete his vision. In turn, this bucolic setting provided the back drop and inspiration for many of Monet’s most iconic impressionist paintings.
The book offers an eye-opening side by side comparison of his paintings to photographs of the subject matter. Truly, the lighting is brighter and the colors more vivid in this region. When you go to Giverny, you will find that what he painted is more actual than stylized when you experience how the colors change with the time of day.
His loyal friend Gustave Geffroy spoke of his home:
“Monet at home- this modest house, yet so lavish in its interior decor and the gardens that surround it. The man who conceived and constructed this little world, which is both intimate and splendid, is not only a great artist in creating his paintings, he is equally so in the living decor he has created for his own delight.”
Initially the room pictured above served as Monet’s first studio, but was later converted to a salon to receive guests. The small desk in the photo is where the artist wrote letters. Guests retired to the salon for lively conversation after dinner. Monet’s favorite canvasses, which were not for sale, were displayed here. These pieces were important to him because they told the story of his life and served as markers of his artistic progress.
“It took me a while to understand my water lilies… I cultivated them without thinking about painting them… A landscape doesn’t captivate you in just one day… And then, all of a sudden, I had a revelation there was magic in my pond. I seized my palette. Since that moment, I’ve scarcely painted any other subject.”
-Claude Monet, 1924
In his lifetime, Monet went from an impoverished painter to the most celebrated living master. Fans would go to Giverny with hopes of getting to see the master. Others thought that perhaps he was a mythic figure. His manner was intimidating but benevolent. He was prodigal with his advice but never accepted students.
Monet’s master bedroom was the only room upstairs, flooded with sunlight and garden views. Interestingly, the room was filled with paintings that the artist loved the most- and none of them were of his work. These were works exchanged with or bought from friends who were not commercially successful at the time… some of the period’s greatest masterpieces – by Delacroix, Cezanne, Caillebotte, Renoir, Boudin (his first teacher), Morisot, Manet and more. His collection even demonstrated an interest in the next generation of painters. These bedroom paintings are reproductions of the originals which are now in museums.
This book is in the same beautiful slip-cased format as A DAY AT CHATEAU DE FONTAINEBLEAU and VAUX LE VICOMTE. Not only does it give a beautiful history of Monet and his time in Gerverny, with beautiful photos to accompany the text, but it also serves as a travel guide for those who plan to visit the area, with recommendations for food, hotels and neighboring attractions make this required reading for any impressionist fan who plans to visit Giverny.
A must for impressionist fans-
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