A house in Giverny. Fin.

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Previously on Equinoxio: Chief Engineer Scotty seems to have fixed the Time-Warp modules. I’m not entirely at ease. Last time he said that we found ourselves in the middle of the battle of Hastings. Some historians mention that the sudden appearance and disappearance of a Red dragon may have led the Normands to victory. Nevertheless, we will now be shifting from the early 1900’s to 2016 and the mid 60’s. I like to think Monet planted those roses himself. And they still bloom long, long after. The garden is splendid. Entirely redesigned by Monet, it must need an army of gardeners now to maintain it.

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Monet bought the house in 1883. And lived there until his death in 1926, the year my mother was born. As I mentioned in the previous post, the house and garden are fabulous. Very well preserved and kept. A… historical monument for most of those who visit. To me, apart from its own particular style, and lovely pond, it just reminded me of our house in Normandy where we spent all summers when I was a child.


Our garden, mid to late 80’s. Our old swing had been replaced by a new one, for the benefit of my sister’s and my daughters. No pond. A few hedgehogs. Owls in the 60’s nested in the back before insecticides. One could hear doves all day.

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Giverny, 2016. Most likely 97.2% identical to the 1902 version.

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From Monet’s workshop today. Copies. And, as my friend Jenny says: “Copies are safer with so many tourists!” She has a point. ๐Ÿ™‚ About the two women in the “skiff”: do remember most people didn’t know how to swim then.

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Utamaro (1753-1806): A courtesan and maids of the Oigya house. Monet’s house is full of Japanese woodblocks. Just admire the quality of the drawing, lines, composition, movement.

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Monet’s workshop. A good way to see the wide variety of topics he chose. Or maybe the topics that chose him? I strongly believe artists do not chose the topics they sketch, paint or the stories they write. Paul McCartney once said that he just picked up a song in the air, brought it down to the piano, recorded it, and Voilร .

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Family portraits? 1900’s? Even those children are gone. I hope they were too young or too old for WWI. Not very likely.

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On the beach. A totally new craze then.

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Shield that fair skin from the blaring (?) Normandy sun. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyone who has gone to a Normandy beach will understand the irony.


Our house, as we bought it in 1960. See the shutters on the first floor window to the left.

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Monet’s shutters are painted green. Totally in “accord” with the pink faรงade. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This could be a Renoir. (Copy) Sometimes I find it hard to differentiate. What one realizes after a while is the apparent absence of jealousy or envy among all those painters. Though “competitors” in a modern day sense, a lot were actually good friends. Instead of fighting each other, there seemed to have been a “camaraderie” that may have deserted us today? (Now I sound like my grandfather!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Two Japanese รฉlรฉgantes. Early 19th century? “Scotty! can you give us a more precise reading?” “Scotty?” “No, Sir. But according to my T-Phone this is Utamaro again. 1753-1806. So this is most likely late 18th century. In Japan.” “Thank you Scotty. I didn’t think that was Korea.”

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French รฉlรฉgante, early 20th century. I thought that could be a Renoir (copy?) and it is. signature on the left. I’m beginning to wonder if those really are copies. By French law, copies are legal, as long as the dimensions are different, and obviously the signature is not copied. Hmmm.

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Monet’s workshop again. The two young women above are copies. I’d seen them the day before at Orsay. Didn’t “take” them (wouldn’t mind having just one at home!) but here is another I “took” at Orsay, a rather rare painting:

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“La femme ร  l’ombrelle”, 1895, by Maillol. Musรฉe d’Orsay. Yes, Maillol, who later became the great sculptor of strong, plump, curvy nudes, started as a painter. This slim young woman by the sea reminds a bit of Seurat. Like I said: they were in constant touch which each other. Not copying, more like: “Hey! Great lighting you did on that painting. How did you do it?”

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Monet’s bedroom, Giverny. The top left nude is definitely a Renoir. That particular room had lots of light. When the sun comes out in Normandy. The weather there is somewhat similar to the English weather. Actually, when one takes the train to the UK, the landscapes after the tunnel/Channel are identical. Same greens. Same trees. (For those tree-sensitive people) ๐Ÿ™‚

“Scotty! Can we wrap up now? We’ve exceeded our max of 10-15 slides.” “Yes, Sir, wrapping up.”

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Monet’s kitchen at Giverny. A typical kitchen. Not unlike – though much smaller – the kitchen at Chenonceaux. Again I was reminded, beyond the obvious differences, of another kitchen, 30 kms away:


Our kitchen-dining room in the little village in Normandy.

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Claude Monet, 1840-1926.

Thank you Monsieur Monet, for the light and colours you brought to this world. Thank y’all for flying Equinoxio Time-Space shuttle. A lovely week to all.

44 thoughts on “A house in Giverny. Fin.

  1. Thank you for the journey into a beautiful wonderland. To awaken to this each day would be a slice of heaven.

    • I’m sure it would. Monet really created his own little paradise. On a very large land to put his pond/lake, bridge, flowers… Now as all things have a downside, the weather in Normandy is very close to the English weather. I do remember endless summers of rain. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • Perhaps that is why the gardens grow so beautifully! We are in a drought here and the flowers are drooping and wild fires are springing up everywhere! We are hoping for rain. Monet lived in a paradise!

      • He did. Sorry to hear about the drought. Wild fires are a mess. Takes years for nature to recover. And then it’s hurricane season. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        Lack of balance in the universe. Be good Coeur de Feu.

      • ‘Evening! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, thank you, though we are due to a gallery opening (showing a friend’s work) later on, about an hour’s drive north of the city… And my back hates the car. But it’s all right, it’s a good friend.
        Have a nice, hopefully, no-driving evening. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Aye aye, Captain; great flight. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Just a little by the by, Brian. My mother was also born in 1926 here in Australia! (A little coincidence.)
    I’d love to visit the museum; you’ve certainly whetted my appetite for a closer look. Having seen the gardens portrayed within so many of Monet’s paintings it would be such a delight to visit and ‘feel’ the energies that have given me such pleasure throughout my life.
    I’ve really enjoyed seeing your home in Normandy. The inside reminds me of my Grandparent’s style of living. Solid, slow and meaningful…

    • You don’t say? 1926 was a great year for mothers then. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, there is a “quiet” energy everywhere. (As in the woods of my childhood summers) And yes, again, that house was solid, slow and meaningful. (With a lousy plumbing that I had to fix every year as I re-opened the house after the winter) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Oh wonderful!Monet seems such a soft hearted fellow in that last photo.I really like the kitchen in your house..the rich woodwork makes it look so warm and welcoming.

    • Yes, Monet looks like a man at peace. And a nice man.
      Our house was 2 centuries old. Hence the beams in the ceiling. And lots of wood. Wood is warm. Love wood. It’s probably the noblest material to work with. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Your house was strikingly like the one at Giverny. You weren’t kidding!

    I was surprised by all of the Asian art. He had an interest in it that was surprising but interesting.

    • When Perry broke Japan’s voluntary isolation from the world in the mid 1800’s, no-one had seen Japanese art. So when the woodblocks started circulating, they caused a shock to European artists who were trying to reinvent painting. Though Monet’s style is very different, he was most certainly very interested in Japanese art. ๐Ÿ™‚
      As for the house… there are hundreds, maybe thousands similar ones in a 100 miles radius. Ours was 2 centuries old. Two-feet wide stone walls. It should stand there another couple centuries. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I went there one October. It was breathtaking. Wish now I’d taken the time to have gone in April when I was in Paris. Great seeing you pop up in my reader! Love the pics of your old house.

      • It went pretty well. They said her heart is tiny and that meant they couldn’t do the full treatment so less successful than the average patient. But she’s home and very happy today. Thanks always for asking.

  6. ‘I strongly believe artists do not chose the topics they sketch, paint or the stories they write.’
    Giverny… I (nust) go there every year or two, at different times of year. And enjoy talking shop with the gardeners.

    • Every year or two? How lovely. I can imagine what it’s like in November. (We used to close the house around that time for the winter). I can understand going back and back. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Now about the topics, it’s perfectly normal, so the voices in my head tell me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Haha! Happens to me all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ One Nust Mot type so fast. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Hope you recovered from the May 1st antics. (I will get to your post soon) Do you live near Bastille or Rรฉpublique?

  7. Love it.
    ” Paul McCartney once said that he just picked up a song in the air, brought it down to the piano, recorded it, and Voilร .” I would agree on this although I have never written a ‘Hey Jude.’
    I don’t understand the irony about the beach. Is it cold?

  8. beautiful images Brian, I was just at the John and Mabel Ringling museum of art yesterday, a lot of Italian Renaissance works and a rose garden with so many different names I lost count. Who knew there were that many varieties of roses, but of course I found the Peace rose…..in all of it, I think they find me perhaps ๐Ÿ™‚ another fine jaunt across time and space Captain โค

  9. Inspiration often seems to have its own consciousness, that’s for sure. Something I’ve personally experienced. Your posts about Giverny remind me that I really must visit. I just need to choose a less busy time than summer. I took an art history class years ago, and learned about the artists of this era. There was a lot of friendship more than anything. Each Impressionist had a unique style, so much so that they are instantly recognizable from each other. Degas, Renoir, Monet. No need for envy, really.

    • Art History? How fortunate, Julie. And yes, they are very recognizable. With a few exceptions sometimes. And, yes, the world would be a much better place were it not for envy. A bientรดt.

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