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Monet's House and Garden at Giverny

Only about an hour and a half from Paris, you can walk in the footsteps of art history by imersing yourself for a few hours the Impressionist painter, Monet's home and garden at Giverny, located in the heart of the picturesque Normandy flower filled village that he made his family home in 1883.

It is an absolutely stunningly beautiful place to visit, food for the soul! And definately worth the trip if you are in Paris.

I've shared some practical information about visiting (scroll down), some of the good to know history and some glimpses of the house and gardens on a sundrenched midsummer's day for you to enjoy if you can't visit yourself.

Monet, his house and garden
A picture of Monet in front of his house at Giverny in 1923

But how does it feel to be there? For me it is the feeling that a place leaves you with that is the most important, that's what makes the memories.

The pink stucco facade with green woodwork of Monet's home

It really is an incredible feeling to walk into Monet's studio, he worked there until 1899. The paintings on the walls are reproductions, this is no gallery space but a home, they are illustrative of the works that would have filled his home, they certainly create the atmosphere of his presence.

Then you can wander through his home; from the bedroom he slept in to the kitchen, as well as marvelling at the collected decor and his use of colour in his home, it is very much an artist's home and especially interesting if, like me, you love antique French decor. The rooms have been painstakingly recreated to give an authentic experience. The views of the garden from the house allow you to feel how connected the two were.

Try to imagine the bustle of the home, eight children running through the house! An invitation to Giverny was prized, as when Monet was working he did not like to be interrupted. But when he did entertain friends from Paris, artists such as good friend Renoir, he was a bon viveur!

Imagine the conversations that happened in the sunny yellow dining room. And I'm sure Alice too would have clipped flowers from the garden to bring into the home,

Garden flowers in Monet's dining room at Giverny
Flowers from the garden in Monet's sunny yellow dining room at Giverny

One of his children remembers the family arriving for the first time in Giverny in 1883, dressed rather haphazardly in bright colours. It is reported the locals were unsure!

Monet and Alice were not married, Monet's first wife Camille had died and Alice's husband abandoned her and her six children when he lost his fortune, but her spirit and strong personality were respected by the villagers so they became accepted into the small community.

It was at times a bumpy life but they appeared to love each other and certainly all of the children dearly. Eventually they married, when Alice's husband died, and Claude Monet continued to live at the house in Giverny after her passing until his death in 1926 at the age of 86.

Giverny is of course best known for the gardens. As well as a wonderful family home, Monet created his own canvas to paint in his breathtaking garden

"My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. I work at my garden all the time with love. What I need most is flowers. Always."

The house leads onto the first of his gardens, the 'Clos Normande' directly in front of the house, and visible from its windows. Originally an orchard and potager or vegetable garden, Monet changed it, taking out large evergreen trees which cast shade and adding the large treslis arches for climbing plants which are still the centre piece of the garden, supporting cascading roses today.