Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection is an in depth look at the inspiration that Claude Monet found in the simple beauty of his incredible garden, as evidenced in twelve of his masterpieces on display at The Cincinnati Art Museum through May 13, 2012. Monet felt very strongly about this intimate piece of land and was incredibly inspired from it’s tranquil waters, protective blossoms and gently swaying branches, but he also was thought to be very progressive at the time with his inclusion of iconic motifs such as the Japanese Footbridge and the Wisteria.
Over the 43 year period in which Monet lived at Giverny, he built upon his space there, just a he did with his artwork during the same time period. He continued to add land and create amazing places on it. He was an avid gardener and often experimented with rare species of flora. During this time, he also experimented with his painting techniques. Monet began to add vibrant colors in everything. Without blending the colors, the focus became one of perception. Many of his most successful paintings were created during this time and Monet eventually died in his home in Giverny.
Though Monet made little attempt to invite others into his paradise outside of family and close friends, artists from all over the world flocked to the south of France. Karl Anderson, Alson Skinner Clark, John Leslie Breck, William Blair Bruce, Willard Metcalf, Theodore Robinson and Theodore Wendel are among the many others who focused on Giverny and the surrounding countryside.
One visit to this world famous garden nestled in a quaint little town and it is easy to understand how this place could inspire endless greatness. Wandering through the forest is a small stream, several species of plants hugging the banks. The infamous pond in which the many lilies from Monet’s paintings thrive in the mild climate of southern France can be enjoyed from many intimate spots throughout the garden along with the architecturally stimulating bridges with bountiful blooms draping from above criss cross the still water, giving quiet places of solitude throughout this already peaceful place. Monet explored his own ideas about art within these borders and spent years here experimenting and perfecting them. The home, grounds, and small town that Monet’s home is centered in have all been preserved, despite the one million tourists that come every year, making Giverny the second most visited tourist attraction in France after The Palace of Versailles.