The full version of this article originally appeared on page 91 of the May/June issue of the My French Country Home magazine. To subscribe and read the article, click HERE.
Stepping off the train at Vernon, he walked along the Seine for five kilometers or so, caressing the tall grasses and admiring the flowers. Then across the fields, he saw it… So goes the story of how Monet discovered his home in the village of Giverny in 1883.
The house and gardens offered several things he’d been looking for to enhance his paintings: water, land with potential for development, and light.
This “living landscape”, as he referred to it, gave him varied and ever-changing perspectives for his artworks but it would be several years and much labor before the house became the artist’s home that we know today.
He longed for somewhere he could make a home – outside of Paris and its hubbub. “Once settled,” Monet shared with the art dealer Paul Durand‐Ruel, “I hope to produce masterpieces, because I like the countryside very much.”
Monet’s success with his garden didn’t happen overnight, nor alone. He consulted many professionals, fellow painters and horticulture lovers like Gustave Caillebotte, as well as gardening journals.
Throughout all the years, struggles, and effort, he continually labored on one of his greatest masterpieces: his garden.
Text by Alice White Walker – Photography by Franck Schmitt