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Monday, January 23, 2012

Giverny, France: Claude Monet's House

We began the day with the decision to go to Monet's house? or Marseille?
Relaxing at a small Cafe in Paris.We sipped creamy hot chocolate and savored buttery croissants.The day began slow. We had all slept in and rolled out of bed. The French waiters stared at us as usual because it was obscene for one family to have so many children. Not to mention, I wasn't wearing makeup, a dress, or high heels. I was thankful that my children were actually at their best behavior and sitting quietly and being very polite. We slowly lingered  looking at maps and eventually just decided to take a vote. Going to Monet's house won by a landslide, as
 my children pictured seeing the Lily pond or walking on the Japanese bridge that Monet had painted.

We got ourselves together and explored while walking to the Metro.
From the Metro we went to the train station and got on a train.
Then from the train went on a bus that took us to the village of Giverny.

My kids were keeping themselves busy on the train ride to Giverny :)

  The french baguette. Have not found anyplace that makes them better than actually in France.

Oh... Just lovely...

I will be telling my story about my families visit to
 Giverny, France to visit Monet's house, mostly in  pictures.
Make sure to scroll all the way down to see the 
lovely photos of the waterlilies and Monet's house.

I have written below some history and details about Claude Monet's life.
This certainly doesn't cover everything about the artist. If you want more

 information, feel free to click on the links and read more about his life.

I have also listed some of my favorite children's books on Monet at the end of this post
that my children have enjoyed reading over the years. In turn, after reading these particular books they were very interested and excited about visiting Monet's house.

Claude Monet is one of my favorite artists.
Not only for his beautiful impressionistic paintings. But for his courage as an artist to think outside the box when he began his study of art. The technique of painting at the time was taught at one standard way. This traditional painting was very precise and with dark colors. Monet wanted to paint his impression of something by capturing the light. The paintings were done with quick brush strokes and lots of color to try and grasp the shimmer and shine on the water or leaves, or catch the way the light would make an object glow in the sunlight.

When he began this idea of painting in 1862, he got together with other young painters ( Renoir,Cezanne, Pissarro, Latour, Sisley, Bazille) that were also interested in impressionism. They would all paint together outside and compare notes and ideas. He was known to become very good friends with Renoir and they were known to be seen painting together regularly.

In my opinion, the reason why many great artists were recognized at this time was because all the criticism from their peers, and all the creativity that resulted from working together as a group.

 In May 1883 Monet moved to Giverny, France  where he planted hundreds of species of flowers and raised 8 children. Some of his most famous works he created were painted while standing in his own yard at his house in Giverny. He  lived in Giverny for 43 years till the end of his life on December 5, 1926 at the age of 86.  He is buried at the Giverny cemetery.

This was my 10 year old daughters journal entry about the visit on August 21, 2008.
After we had visited Monet's house and garden's we went to a little cafe and surprised the kids
with telling them that next on our itinerary we were going to Euro-Disney :))

Claude Monet's painting "The Japanese bridge" that we saw at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
 I am guessing that this one was painted in the Springtime.
He would paint the same painting at different seasons or different
times of the day to try and  catch the lighting in his paintings.

This is my 8 year old son's journal entry about the visit

Saw this Claude Monet painting "Water lilies" at the Musee  d'Orsay in Paris.
This was one of his later paintings of water lilies 1916-1919 when his eyesight was deteriorating .
We saw this Claude Monet painting of "The Japanese Bridge"at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
I think he must of painted this one in the summertime. (I am guessing)

This is us walking through the little town of Giverny.
We loved seeing the houses covered with flowers and vines.

Entering the grounds of Monet's house was beautiful.
Everything inch was  lush and green  and vibrant.

My 10 year old daughter took most of these pictures of flowers.
This is only a sampling of how many she photographed.
My 13 year old daughter took most of the pictures with people in them.

My 8 year old son's picture of himself on the bridge.

The lily ponds from Monet's paintings.

My 3 year old slept through most of the visit. It must of been the calmness of the ponds and gardens.

There was rows and rows or flower gardens

This is my favorite picture of my 10 year old daughter with
 her looking at all  the flowers and taking it all in.

It was fascinating.  To see so many types of flowers and plants in one person's garden
To live everyday surrounded by flowers would be a pleasure.

There were many bridges

I can imagine how amazing these bridges must look in the spring with flowers draping over them.

We were all speechless looking into the waterlilies and imagining
Monet standing at this very spot and painting or watching his children catching frogs in the pond.

This is my favorite photo. This to me, conveys the calm and serene atmosphere of Monet's lily pond and gardens.

"The Japanese Bridge"

Is this the original boat from the painting?

The pathway to Monet's house

Wow! It was even more exquisite and charming than we expected 

Information about Claude Monet were referenced from:

Books:        Monet 
                           by: Frank Milner

                        by: Taschen

Great Children's books on Monet:   Claude Monet, Sunshine and Waterlilies
                                        by: Steven Packard

                                  Linnea in Monet's Garden 
                                                    by: Christina Bjork, &Lena Anderson

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