When I was rather younger than I currently am, I had a set of children’s encyclopedias. From these books I learned much about the world but my very favourite was the one which was filled with art. Every ‘famous’ picture and sculpture appeared on those pages and I never dreamed in my little room in Ireland that I would be lucky enough to see a great many of them in the years to come. But see them I have, some of them many times over including Monet’s most famous of paintings Les Nympheas – the waterlilies.
And so it was Dear Reader that after eons of wanting to go, I found myself looking at the iconic lake and gardens at Giverny. And they did not disappoint one little bit.
We had been to the Orangerie in Paris the day before we went and looked at the vast paintings in this dedicated museum in great awe and it was quite amazing to see it all subsequently ‘in person’. And so here they are – my impressions of Giverny (pun entirely intended). There were at least a billion photos but I’ve just selected a few (collective sigh of relief) to give you a flavour of what there was to see.
And then, and I am quite embarrassed at this numptiness, I discovered the panorama setting on my camera…..
Which gave a far better contrast with the paintings
We then moved on, away from the lake side to the house and garden proper. It is quite hard to describe what was in effect a cacophony of riotous colour. The garden is huge with vast beds which look as though they have been haphazardly planted with a madness of flowers and small trees but when you stand back and REALLY look then you see that there is method in this madness.
Without sounding silly, you could quite imagine Monet in amongst it all and when we went to the Musee D’Orsay later on in the week and looked at his paintings we had a real sense of having been there.
It’s difficult to get the vastness of the garden across but I do have one of my (now) trusty panoramic shots which sort of shows it
The house is open to the public and although you aren’t allowed to take photos inside it which was a shame, it has been kept very much in its original style even down to copies of all the paintings which Monet had hanging on his living room walls – mostly by other artists who were friends and contemporaries.
It was all so breathtakingly beautiful that I wanted to put the whole lot in my bag and take it home – the wonderful lake, the flowers and of course the beautiful house with the shuttered windows. TG and I left hoping that we’d won the euromillions….but settled for a picnic lunch instead.
The village of Giverny itself is also very pretty and after our lunch and a long chat with a very old French man about his experiences of the war as a child, we wandered off to have a look and a coffee.
We had such a lovely day and came away full of ideas for our garden. If you have never been Dear Reader and find yourself at a loose end in Paris, get on a train and go. It’s so very very worth it.