Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In Giverny

My friend Yogi and I took the SNCF train from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to the town of Vernon. The train was extremely fast, and travelled the 75 kms (50 mi) distance, with stops, in less than an hour. From Vernon, we boarded a bus that took us to the town of Giverny. By the time we got to the entrance to Claude Monet's house and gardens, a long line has formed. As you entered the gardens, you are assaulted by a riot of color which immediately conjured the paintings of Claude Monet. The gardens were carefully cultivated by Monet with an artist eye and served both as his inspiration and a representation of his painting style. Even though there were patches of color everywhere, there was balance.

Monet's House

We entered Monet's house (no pictures allowed) and I was struck by the bright yellow and blue walls. He also had an extensive collection of Japanese woodblocks which in one way or another influenced him and other Impressionists painters. I love his country kitchen. Most of all, I admired the gardens. It is as if, Monet's painting have come to life. I just couldn't believe that I was walking where Monet puttered around, set up his paints, brushes, canvas and easel.

I particularly liked the Japanese inspired gardens, with the pond filled with blooming water lilies, the boat, the green Japanese bridge and the willow branches brushing the pond, that were featured in many of Monet's paintings. This is where you feel Monet's presence the most.
Pond in Japanese Garden

After our visit, we had lunch at Les Nympheaus Restaurant which is located just outside Monet's home and gardens. It was a typical Normandy-style beamed building with gardens. We had french omelettes, bottled water and salad.

Influenced by Monet's vision, the little town of Giverny transformed itself into a colorful oasis. Every little corner is an inspiration. Artists, mostly Americans. flocked to Giverny attracted by most of the same things which attracted Monet and stayed at Hotel Baudy, whose registry features a veritable Who's Who of the artist world at the time.
Hotel Baudy

We were also able to visit Monet's tomb by the old church. His family is buried there, too. On the way, we passed by a number of local galleries.
Monet's Tomb
One of the many small galleries in Giverny

We also visited the Musee des Impressionismes Giverny which featured an exhibition by Maximilien Luce, a neo-impressionist. The gardens of the museum were spectacular and were done up in rooms in various color schemes, I like the yellow garden room the best.
The yellow garden room at Musee des Impressionismes Giverny
Maximilien Luce's Exhibition Poster

Giverny is worth the visit for artist, gardeners, horticulturist and art lovers alike.

From Wikipedia:
Claude Monet (French pronunciation: [klod mɔnɛ]), born Oscar Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926), was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.[1] [2] The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant).

1 comment:

  1. What an articulate and vivid write up of your experience of your visit to Monet's place, in Giverny...it was a pleasure to spend the day with you.