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Our Lady Collegiate church in Vernon
A whole site dedicated to this monumeent (in English)
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Downloads
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Vernon half-timbered houses
A whole site about our numerous old houses (In French only, sorry !)
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Vernon Giverny Website auf deutsch

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The Old Mill in Vernon
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Monet's house and garden at Giverny
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The XIIth c. castle keep in Vernon
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Visits, indeed, but there are so many other things to do in Vernon
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Walking and cycling around Vernon
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Museums in Vernon (paintings by Monet) and Giverny
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A walk in the streets of Giverny
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The water lily pond at Giverny
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Tourelles castle in Vernon
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Welcome to Giverny  :
  Claude Monet's house and garden


 

"It is necessary to go on a pilgrimage to Giverny, this sanctuary teeming with flowers, in order to understand the Master better, to grasp the sources of his inspiration and to imagine him still alive among us" (Gerald Van der Kemp, first curator of Claude Monet Foundation.)


When Monet arrived in Giverny in 1883 at the age of 43, the house looked different from what it is today: he enlarged it by integrating two sheds at each end, he had a balcony built along the façade and he chose the colours, the very colours that you can seen see today.






 
Monet's first studio was inside the house: this room was later transformed into a drawing room where coffee was served after lunch and where Monet would exhibit his latest paintings. In 1899, he had a new studio built on the western side of the domain (on your left when you look at the house; not open to the public) and in 1916, a third one (now the museum shop) specially built for the large canvasses (called 'Décorations des Nymphéas') which he started painting in his later years.




Do not miss the visit of the house. it is not only a house but also the epitome of Monet's life. A friend of his, Gustave Geffroy, wrote:" This house is modest and yet sumptuous with the indoor arrangement and those of the garden - or rather of the gardens. He who designed this familiar and magnificent universe is not only great as an artist but also as the designer of a setting in which he enjoyed living. This house and its garden is also a work of art and Monet devoted all his life to creating it and bringing it to perfection."

Visitors often especially remember the drawing room, with its walls covered with the master's paintings,   the dining room (Monet's own decoration) and the kitchen (blue wall tiles) where it is easy to evoke the master's social life when he treated such guests as Cézanne and Renoir - the famous painters - or a close friend of his, the Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau.


The Norman garden, the one around the house, was gradually transformed by Monet who personally supervised everything. Like the Norman garden, the water garden is full of rare plants that Monet ordered from all over the world.
 




In 1893, Monet bought a patch of ground on the other side of the small railway line that passed at the bottom of the garden (now a road) in order to create a 'water garden' with a pond where he would later paint his famous water lilies.

After 1900 or so, the water garden became Monet's main source of inspiration. The master would sit there for hours, trying to capture the colours, the reflections and the movements of the water lilies above the surface of the water, waiting for the light to be perfect to reproduce it on a canvas. He wrote : "It took me some time to understand my water lilies… I used to grow them nut never realised I could paint them… It takes time to become immersed into a landscape.. And then suddenly, the utter beauty of my pond came as a revelation. I took my palette and since that day, I have hardly ever had another model."





When the weather was too bad, Monet would grumble because he could not work in the garden. During the 1910 flood - one of the worst in history- which ruined the garden, Monet broke into tears.

Dappled with playful light, shape and movement, this garden was an ongoing project to which Monet dedicated his life. Over the seasons, he transformed the garden, little by little, designing alleys, planting numerous types of plants and flowers making sure they would bloom all the year round. He had seven full-time gardeners and was very meticulous and demanding; everything had to be pristine.

Such is the place that Monet loved so much and that he had to leave in 1926, aged 86.

For your visit,
Download here the map of  Monet's garden


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