In Giverny, this village of timeless charm, the light is like nowhere else, said the master of Impressionism, Claude Monet...
Village with timeless charm
Located on the right bank of the Seine, the town of Giverny is famous throughout the world through the paintings of Claude Monet who lived there from 1883 until his death in 1926. Like Monet in his time, the visitor cannot help but to take a long break in front of the water garden with its Japanese bridge, its water lilies… decors that inspired two of his most famous paintings. The presence of the painter in Giverny attracted many artists of various nationalities who also contributed to making this site a particularly emblematic place. With the opening of the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny, formerly the American Museum, Giverny asserts its position as an international tourist hotspot.
All his money into this garden
This Clos Normand of about one hectare, Monet transformed it into a garden rich in perspectives, symmetries and colors. The land is cut into flowerbeds where flower beds of different heights create volumes. Fruit or ornamental trees dominate climbing roses, the slender stems of hollyhocks and the colorful masses of annuals. Monet mixes the simplest flowers (daisies and poppies) with the most sought-after varieties. The central aisle is covered with arches on which grow climbing roses. Echoing this, other rosebushes cover the balustrades that run along the house. At the end of the summer, nasturtiums invade the floor of the central aisle. Claude Monet does not like organized or constrained gardens. He matches the flowers according to their colors and lets them grow quite freely. Over the years, he became passionate about botany, he exchanged plants with his friends Clémenceau or Caillebotte. Always on the lookout for rare varieties, he brings in bulbs or young shoots at great expense. “All my money goes into my garden,” he confides.
The restoration of the garden and the house
When Claude Monet died in 1926, the house and the garden went to his son Michel. He does not live there and it is Monet’s daughter-in-law, Blanche Hoschedé, who watches over the property. Unfortunately after the Second World War the garden and the house are neglected. In 1966 Michel Monet bequeathed the property to the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1977 Gérald van der Kemp was appointed curator of Giverny. André Devillers, who had had the chance to accompany Georges Truffaut, an eminent gardener often invited to Monet’s table, helped him to reconstruct the garden as it was at the time of the Master. Many contemporaries of Monet also testify. Several years are needed to restore the garden and the house to their former glory, because there is not much left of it. The windows of the greenhouses and of the house were shattered during the bombardments, the woodwork is rotten, the staircase has collapsed, and three trees have grown in the large workshop. It is necessary to redig the pond, to find the level of the original ground of the garden, to replant with the same rare varieties as those unearthed in his time by Monet.
84 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny