Even if you are not an art enthusiast, you probably have knowledge of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series – and may have chanced upon some of them in various art museums around the world. A real Impressionist buff has to find their way at least once to the house and gardens of the artist, where all of those paintings were created. On the last day of our French itinerary this past spring, we drove to the village of Giverny, about an hour by car from central Paris, with that explicit target in mind.
The place exceeded my expectations. Setting aside the somewhat inconceivable set-up of a single ticket booth serving all visitors who have not had the good sense to buy tickets online, thereby causing a 45-minute wait to get in, and the fact that restricted confines of the garden paths are inadequate for the volume of callers, the radiant gardens are simply wonderful.
The mélange of colors and flower species has a borderline appearance of wild growth.
You may be wondering if the above shots contradict my earlier statement on the volume of callers. Fortunately or unfortunately, many secondary paths in the garden are out of bounds for the visitors. They offer reasonable photographic opportunities, all the while main paths become congested and a chore to navigate.
The following picture was taken specifically for the purposes of illustrating the density of the visiting masses.
If you are keen on photographing the gardens beyond basic touristy selfies, you have to practically forget about wide-angle views, and instead occupy yourself with shallow depth. Thankfully, the subjects are endless.
We came to the pond by now. It’s as though it descended from the canvases of Monet…
Oh wait! It’s the other way around!
I doubt that my photographic skills are up to the task of relaying that, but seeing the natural model for the Water Lilies took my appreciation of Monet to a whole new level. I felt that I have visited this pond many times before – every time I looked at one of the paintings.
Not that I ever doubted Monet’s greatness, mind you.
This has got to be my personal favorite shot of the entire trip.
The house of the painter is well appointed, and offers an unexpected bonus of a small collection of Monet’s works in the salon.
Definitely a must for any admirer of Impressionism in general and Monet in particular.