Monet’s home in Giverny has an important place in the history of art. Known originally as the House of the Cider-Press – which indicates its former purpose – Monet’s house and gardens are today a true treasure, whether you are a fan of Impressionism art or not. Visiting his former home and taking a stroll through the gardens is an enjoyable experience in itself.
After the many years of dedication to his garden (and art), it is fitting that Giverny has now become a flowering monument to Monet. In 1883 Monet and his family settled into the farmhouse, calling Giverny home for more than 40 years. The family chose to travel less and less with each passing year; instead, Monet worked on a vast landscaping project of the garden, creating the space that is so cherished and famed today.
He transformed the garden into his own personal paradise, complete with a Japanese garden and a pond full of floating lilies, inspired by tranquil scenes from the Japanese prints he liked to collect. The pond he created by diverting a river, before planting willows and bamboo and building the iconic wooden footbridge. These original features have since grown wild with meandering foliage, wisteria and an endless stream of waterlilies. Monet painted this serene scene at different times of the day and year, leading to many of his chefs-d'oeuvre.
In the later years of his life, Monet became increasingly absorbed in depicting the world around him in Giverny. As his artistic vision expanded though, he began to paint smaller details on bigger canvases. These paintings paved the way for modern abstract art.
Since his demise, the nonprofit organisation, Foundation Claude Monet, has worked to preserve Monet’s house and gardens. The Giverny home welcomes 500,000 visitors each year and is the second most visited tourist site in Normandy, after the Mont Saint-Michel.