Claude Monet House and Gardens: the inspiration for many of his greatest works of art

Marija Georgievska
The reading room. John McKindland. CC BY 2.0

It is said that the Claude Monet House in Northern France was the magical place where he drew some of the most famous of his paintings that we all know today.

Water lilies, colorful ponds, cliffs, and sunrises. We can admire all of this in the remarkable work of the one and only Claude Monet.

A leading figure in the Impressionist movement, Monet is also remembered as one of the best painters of landscapes. His work can be seen in museums all around the world.

For Monet, it was love at first sight when he visited the charming commune of Giverny, in the Normandy region of France.

He decided to move there together with his family and bought a small house, which was named House of the Cider-Press. Monet enlarged the house by adding an additional wing each side.

Not only was Monet a painter, he was also a prominent art collector and some of his most favorite pieces were the works of well known Japanese landscape artists.

Monet’s House. John McKindland. CC BY 2.0

These artists inspired him to create the most stunning gardens in the country, which are maybe even more visited than his house.

The house, with its unbelievable interior and the colorful exterior, it is reputedly one of the most beautiful properties in France.

The interior design is reminiscent of some of his paintings, with the shades of blue on the walls of the kitchen and the green and yellow tables, chairs, and doors in the dining room.

The whole atmosphere inside is very cheerful and calm because of the amazing color contrasts that the artists chose.

The reading room. John McKindland. CC BY 2.0

On the ground floor is the reading chamber, favorite to his wife, and Monet’s art studio in which he created some of his best works.

This was his first studio, which later was moved to another area and the empty space was converted into a sitting room for his family and friends.

Upstairs are the bedrooms and his wife’s dressing room. Paintings by some of his closest friends such as Renoir and Cezanne hang on the walls of Monet’s private chamber.

Here visitors can also see some of Monet’s personal items and paintings.

The dining room. John McKindland. CC BY 2.0

The facade of the Claude Monet House is colored pink and it has many large windows with green frames. It almost looks like the house was swallowed by the gardens because the walls are covered with ivy.

Monet’s gardens are renowned all around the world because his most famous series of paintings were created here, the Water Lilies series.

Part of the Water Garden. Anna & Michal. CC BY 2.0

Divided into two sections, they are known as the Water Gardens and the Clos Normand.

The Water Gardens were inspired by Japanese landscape with little ponds and bridges, while the Clos Normand is an elegant Romantic style garden.

The flowers and trees that Monet planted here were very different from those native to the surrounding area and at one point the neighbors were afraid of the new plants, thinking that they might poison the water.

But, after they blossomed in many different colors, the site became breathtaking and no one disputed it anymore.

The Clos Normand Garden. Anna & Michal. CC BY 2.0.

In these perfect gardens, Monet planted thousands of plants including apple, apricot and cherry trees, as well as tulips, iris, and narcissi.

The central path leading to the Claude Monet House takes the form of a rose avenue and visitors can admire their beauty as they approach the entrance.

As in everything else, Monet used his artistic skill to arrange the gardens with striking perspectives and colors. After finishing Clos Normand he created a solar garden, which is the most visited today.

The kitchen. John McKindland. CC BY 2.0

When Monet died, the property was inherited by his son, Michel. But it was his step-daughter Blanche who maintained the property until World War II. It was neglected and fell into partial ruin during the Nazi occupation.

After the war, almost a decade was needed to restore the Claude Monet House and Gardens to their former beauty.

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Today, the property is run by the Claude Monet Foundation and hundreds of thousands of visitors come every year to see the place that inspired so much of the artist’s work.