Monet’s Les Nymphéas
Claude Monet spent over half of his life living and working in Giverny, France…a little village just north of Paris in the region of Normandy. After spending a lifetime in constant pursuit of perfect lighting effects, he stopped traveling and cultivated the gardens of his home, Le Pressoir, so that he would always have something to paint. He applied the same color theories to his gardens as he did on the canvas. Complementary hues were juxtaposed with one another creating a spectacle of color each season. In the spring, pale yellows bloomed next to soft pinks. In the fall, fiery oranges and deep purples would take over the landscape. Not only was Monet an artist, he was a horticulturist. When he wasn’t painting, he was reading books about flowers and gardening.
Monet’s Waterlily Pond in Giverny
After living in Le Pressoir for many years, he and Alice (his second wife), purchased an adjacent piece of land that he eventually transformed into his famous Waterlily Garden. It was this subject matter that consumed him the last quarter of his life. By 1914, Alice and his eldest son Jean had died and, consumed with grief, Monet sought solace in his gardens. With World War I raging in the background, he completed a series of panoramic panels that would eventually be installed in the Musee de l’Orangerie (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Inside the Musee de l’Orangerie
Spend some time reading (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. about Monet’s Nymphéas and explore the installation via the museum’s virtual tour. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. While looking about these works, think about Monet’s life, both personal and professional. These works are the culmination of his artistic career that spanned nearly 70 years.
For this discussion, share with the class your reaction to the questions listed below:
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