One of the greatest things I’ve ever done in this lifetime was take a walk through the world of Monet. It started at Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. As you walk through and marvel at the great works of Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne and many other famous painters, the part of the museum that will take your breath away is below in an oval room.
On the walls surrounding this oval room is the world famous Les Nymphéas (Waterlilies) by Claude Monet. What makes this room so unique is that the painting is curved and goes around this entire oval shaped room.
There is not a single photograph that can accurately capture the awesomeness of walking into this room and taking in the Waterlilies for the first time. This is the type of room you just want to sit in for hours staring at the beauty that graces these walls.
While Musée de l’Orangerie is an amazing place to take in, consider it the introductory course into walking into a Monet painting.
About an hour and fifteen minutes away from Paris is a small town called Giverny, home of Claude Monet and his gardens. Monet’s home is open to tourists. There are many tour companies that offer excursions to Giverny. If you are in France and love Monet’s work, I highly suggest going, because you will never experience anything like this.
They keep the grounds as close to the way Monet kept them, especially in his artwork. From the sunflowers to Le Pont Japonais, everything remains as true to the original as it can be.
Taking a walk inside of Monet’s gardens is like taking a walk inside the paintings of Monet. The beauty and splendor is remarkable.
The best time to go is, of course, in the summer months when the flowers are in full bloom.
You will never truly appreciate the work of Monet until you’ve experienced his world. Over 100 years later and it is still as pristine and beautiful as the day he put paint to canvas.
If you’re planning a trip to France, I highly recommend making a stop at Musée de l’Orangerie and then spending the day in Giverny. On the way there, try and stop at Fontainebleau, France, home of Napoleon. The story of Napoleon’s home (and why he refused to live at Versailles) is an interesting tale. The story of the horseshoe staircase and the things that happened there was one of my all-time favorite history lessons. It was the story of Napoleon slipping on the staircase…it’s what he did afterward that made me respect him.