I was really looking forward to this morning. We took a bus ride to Giverny, where Monet lived in the second half of his life and where he painted his water lilies paintings. By all accounts it was a beautiful place, and they certainly didn’t lie. It was exquisite.
Ours was one of the first tours to arrive and we were quickly herded up to the house, with our guide telling us to move quick. She said that soon the house would be packed. Even with this advantage, you still had to move quick to get decent photos without people in the way.
This is what I intended to get. The house had amazing use of colour, often in combinations more timorous people, such as myself, would attempt.
This first room was an ode to blue. Japanese prints were everywhere, along with photos.
Even the clock was painted to fit in.
Next stop… the studio. Lined with paintings and PEOPLE. I shudder to think of what it would be like in half an hour after all the tour groups get there.
It was a beautiful room. The windows were huge and let in so much light. It would have been a very pleasant space to spend time.
All of Monet’s paintings here are reproductions. The originals are all in museums and private collections.
The view from the window. I couldn’t get near the other one… too many people. So I went back up the stairs and continued.
Not a bad view from your bedroom window, is it?
Here it is without that annoying tourist in the way.
Again, would you think of putting these colours together? Not me, but they work.
Here’s one of me taking a photo of Scott taking a photo.
This was a very pretty room.
Downstairs, the yellow dining room and the blue kitchen.
I love yellow. This room made me very happy.
Nice little detail for the cat lovers.
Look at the mob of tourists coming through the door…. I knew I had to snap fast.
He certainly liked his Japanese prints.
Dammit! That guy just got into the shot. Do you know how long I had to stand there and wait for people to move away? The house was getting crowded.
I gave up waiting for these two. They appeared to be there for the duration.
Nice pots, though.
Woo hoo! Success! Then it was out to the garden. There are two gardens to see; the flower garden closest to the house and the water garden, where the water lilies are. I elected to bolt for the water garden, which was across the road, only able to be reached by a tunnel.
As I left the house, here was half the queue waiting to get in. My advice? Go early.
This water garden is so cool and quiet and completely stunning. Money created it himself. I’m just going to post a few pictures, particularly for Mum. She’s an artist and I know she’s been to the Orangerie to see the paintings, but I don’t think she’s been here.Here’s me on THAT bridge.
This reminds me a lot of a couple of the paintings.
On the bridge again. Everyone was helping out everyone else by taking photos for people and waiting patiently for people to get their photos before taking their place.
Then it was back to view the flower garden. As our guide said: This is a very human-sized garden. Monet didn’t expect so many guests, so the paths are quite narrow.
The layout is of long beds with narrow paths between them. Most are fenced off. The garden beds are a riot of colour.
I think this might be a massed planting of amaranth.
The smell from all the flowers was intoxicating. Lavender lined the paths and the bees were everywhere. It was amazing.
I love lambs ears. Never thought of doing a massed planting of them.
I was talking to a gardener about these. He said that there are 10 full-time gardeners employed in the winter and 20 in the summer. (Dahlia Honka Rouge, in case anyone is like me and wants to get some.)
Then it was back to Paris. On the way back we decided to rearrange our itinerary and go to the Orangerie to see the paintings. We liked the symmetry.
You know how people tell you a painting is large but you can’t quite grasp it until you see it? There were 2 round rooms to house 8 paintings. They were HUGE.
I think this was my favourite one, though I liked the willows ones too.
There are also other paintings here.
Soutine – ‘La Fiancee’. 1923. I’m sorry, but if my beloved ever painted something that portrayed me like this, the wedding would be off.
More Renoir. ‘Gabrielle st Jean’ 1895. This is his wife and child. It reminded me of a snapshot.
What can I say? I like the colours. Soutine – ‘Paysage’. 1923
And a Picasso through a gap in the wall.
Then it was off to the Panthéon.
To be honest, this was a bit of a disappointment. The top level was big and impressive, but the crypt, where the graves of the famous people are, was desolate and cold.
The tunnels all ran like this, with the graves in rooms where you couldn’t get to, except for the Curies. It was cold and echoing and damp… I wouldn’t want to be buried here.
By far the best one was Louis Braille. The dots under the top line are actually braille.
But here’s his actual tomb… one of these boxes. It’s a bit grim; you can’t even tell which one is his.
The door to the tomb room was open so you could actually go in and see Pierre and Marie Curie’s tombs. Ther weren’t originally here; some time in the 90’s they were dug up and moved. Given their work, I was hoping they were in lead-lined coffins so they weren’t giving us all radioactive poisoning….
Other tombs we saw were Alexandre Dumas (‘The 3 Musketeers’ author), Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, Voltaire and a bunch of others. We skipped out of that joint and went off in search of the Rodin museum.
But on the way I saw this window full of marcasite. OMG. I love it.
So much so that I went in and bought some earrings. This is my Paris souvenir from the Left Bank.
Then it was off to Rodin!
But here he is.
They’re doing renovations on the house, so we wandered through the gardens and looked at the pieces.
I loved this front one.
Look! A bust of George Bernard Shaw!!!
And here’s the Gates of Hell.
Whoops! See the one on the side slipping down?
Inside was ‘The Kiss’. This was the first photo I took… then I wanted to take another from a slightly different angle.
One of them has a stalker….