Virginia, Paris

Virginia is a junior majoring in art history in Meadows School of the Arts, with a minor in French in Dedman College. During spring 2012, she is studying in Paris with SMU Abroad and the IES Business and International Affairs Program. She looks forward to living like a “local” and seeing all the incredible art Paris has to offer.

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Where Monet painted

With my sister on the Japanese bridge

Salut tout le monde!

Back again with a new post on my trip to Giverny with my sister, who came to visit me here in Paris last week.

Giverny is a tiny little town out in the country about 45 minutes outside Paris, by train. It is here where Claude Monet resided for so many years and painted his famous water lily paintings featured in the L’Orangerie museum in Paris and his other famous Impressionist paintings of Japanese bridges and his gardens.

This garden was mind-blowing. The flowers, trees, and ponds brought you back to another time and place – back to Monet’s world. I felt as if I were walking in one of his paintings. I couldn’t believe in just the first week of April how many different flowers were in bloom! The willow trees were just gorgeous, as was the famous Japanese bridge. My sister and I loved roaming around the gardens and ponds, taking in all the beauty.

The view from the bridge

Afterward, we visited Monet’s house, which was restored to its original appearance. The one thing we immediately noticed was how colorful all the walls and crown moldings are, in pastel colors that are not traditional to French homes. Rooms were painted in bright yellows, baby blues and violets, emphasizing the Impressionist feel of this house.

Impressionism is most known for its use of light and color. We viewed Monet’s large collection of Japanese prints, and could easily see how he drew such inspiration from these prints for his works of art.

His studio was incredible to see because it showed a lot of his famous paintings all hung on the wall, the work stand with his paints and brushes that he used outside to paint the gardens, and a picture of how he looked in his studio.

By far my favorite room was his kitchen, which was tiled in beautiful blue and white floral tiles. This is an obvious direct reference to Japanese prints, but I couldn’t help but think that Monet somehow made this blue and white room French as well. The view of the gardens from his windows was magnificent, and every time I looked out to see the gardens I couldn’t help but lose my breath due to all the beauty and color surrounding us.

I highly recommend making a quick side trip out to Giverny from Paris if you’re there; it is well worth it!

A plus tard,
Virginia

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