Cuisine de Claude Monet
The initiator and unwavering patron of the ‘impressionist’ avant garde style of painting, Claude Monet is no stranger when it comes to iconic works of art. The French painter who embraced modernity through his unique style of capturing nature as it appeared to him at the moment, has influenced generations of artists. The impact of his revolutionary art is felt till this day. Monet and his family moved to Giverny which is an hour away from Paris, in 1883 and began residing in a property then called “House of the Cider Press”. Thereafter, this house became seminal for many of Monet’s iconic paintings, not only because of its stunning interiors but also because of its lush verdant exteriors. They lived here for 40 years and in that time, Monet expanded the exteriors. Inspired by Japanese landscape artists, he created the Clos Normand and Water Garden or Garden of the Nympheas, both of which have been immortalized in some of his most famous paintings.
Case in point; “The Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies” which was a part of his eminent ‘Water Lillies’ series, all inspired by his love for the gardens in his home. A plethora of flowers surround the vibrantly coloured family home of the Monet’s. While most of the rooms inside are sprightly pigmented, two of them in particular, the kitchen and dining room stand out. The former is decorated with blue and white Rouen tiles and finished with touches of copper for maximum contrast. The dining room is painted bright yellow juxtaposed against red and white checkered floors. The salon atelier or the living room has been reconstituted almost identically to what it was back in the 1900’s. The interiors much like his paintings, were uncharacteristic of the time. A collector of Japanese paintings, Monet adorned much of his place with multiple Japanese woodblock prints. This influence is visible in his own artworks as well.
The house gardens
Today, the house and the gardens are preserved and run by the Claude Monet Foundation, and is a must-visit for tourists every year. The property is a breath-taking physical remnant of Monet and everything that he stood for. However, as the world came to a standstill in the beginning of March because of the pandemic, the house had to close its doors, like everything else. After a couple of months in silence, it re-opened its doors last week and can now be visited by tourists. However, not many of us are actually going to take a vacation to France anytime soon, although, that should not deter you.
Thanks to the endless potential of modern day technology, the Claude Monet Foundation is offering a virtual tour of the house on their official website at no cost. Imagine experiencing Monet’s life and history, lounging in the comforts of your home! The tour not only includes the entirety of the sprawling property, but also offers a glimpse into the painter’s personal studio, which has now been transformed into a room that houses some his most eminent works. While the virtual tour might not be as fulfilling as being present there physically, however, it comes very close to the experience of feeling like you are inside one of Monet’s paintings.
Check out the virtual tour here: https://fondation-monet.com/visite-virtuelle/
Text Samadrita Khasnabis
Monet's Water Lilies