Giverny: Monet’s art in the garden

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A new children’s book called The Garden of Monsieur Monet inspired us to feature Giverny, a delightful day trip from Paris.

In 1883, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet moved his family to the town of Giverny along the Seine River. He rented a pink farmhouse with two acres of land, fruit trees and wild flowers.

Monet designed a flower garden that would bloom in every season. His team of gardeners planted hundreds of flowers, and made the water garden, a pond with Japanese bridge and water lilies.

Monet lived in Giverny for the rest of his life, more than 40 years.”I can produce masterpieces here,” he said, and Monet painted the garden many times, in spring, summer, fall and winter. His huge murals of the water lilies are on display in the Orangerie museum in Paris today.

Giverny was filled with Monet’s family, when his children grew up, grandchildren played in the garden too.

For a day trip from Paris to Giverny, take the train from Gare Saint Lazare, it’s a 45 min. train ride to Vernon, then taxi a taxi or bus to Giverny.

Tip: In Paris, visit the Musee de l’Orangerie with Monet’s paintings from Giverny. In the museum kids can step into the garden, just magical!

 

And here’s our favorite children’s books about Monet and Giverny, where the garden is always in bloom.

  • The Garden of Monsieur Monet by Giancarlo Ascari, Pia Valentinis. Monet and his family move to the country, to Giverny where Monet creates a flower and water garden. And soon he sits for hours, painting in the garden, and watching the change of light and color. Enchanting illustrations! (Picture book)
  • The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt. Charming story of a girl who thinks Monet is the gardener. Anholt’s illustrations are seamlessly interwoven with Monet’s paintings – you feel as if you’re in the water garden, “where lilies sparkle bright as stars.” (Picture book)
  • Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork. Not only about Claude Monet the painter, read about Impressionist painting, what grows in the garden at Giverny, and a good picnic lunch of baguette, cheese, and apple cider. (Picture book)
  • Who Was Claude Monet? by Ann Waldron, Stephen Marchesi. Illustrated biography of the Impressionist painter who took up his easel and painted outdoors. Traditional artists worked indoors in studios, but all this life Monet painted nature, people, landscapes, haystacks, and his Giverny garden, experimenting with sunlight and shadow. (Illustrated chapter book)
  • A Picnic with Monet by Julie Merberg, Suzanne Bober. Toddlers can touch Monet’s paintings in this charming board book with rhyming descriptions. “Cross a magical bridge to a place beyond, where water lilies float on a purple pond.” (Board book)

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