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Claude Monet, the Water-Lilies, Paris and L'Orangerie

Claude Monet, the Water-Lilies, Paris and L'Orangerie
Our family traveled from Prague to Paris for a getaway in the West last weekend. Along with time walking along the Seine, the Tuileries Gardens, around the Eiffel Tower and Arc D' Triumph and Trocodero, and mass at the Notre Dame on Ile d'Cite, visiting the Musée de l’Orangerie in Jardin des Tuileries became the thrilling highlight for me. 

all photographs: paintings of Les Nympheas by Claude Monet from Musee l'Orangerie, Paris
 As far back as I can remember, Claude Monet has been one of my favorite artists; his Impressionistic style has always resonated, deeply. Last weekend, on this first visit to L'Orangerie, my love for Monet's art has grown exponentially.

It is difficult to explain in mere words the substantive presentation of Monet's Les Nympheas (The Water Lilies) ... so I'm including several photographs, along with quotes from Monet, to better portray his masterpieces and their sheer beauty.

"It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them." -Claude Monet

"My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece."

"I can only draw what I see."

"Everything I have earned has gone into these gardens." (on his gardens at Giverny)

"Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."

"It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them."

"I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even."

 "It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly." "Thanks to water, [Monet] has become the painter of what we cannot see. He addresses that invisible spiritual surface that separates light from reflection. Airy azure captive of liquid azure ... Color rises from the bottom of the water in clouds, in whirlpools."
 Starting the Discussion: What art inspires you? Who is your favorite artist? Do you have a favorite art museum you go to for inspiration?

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Jennifer, I share your love

Jennifer, I share your love of Monet and am so pleased to stumble upon this blog post about him. I have been in those round galleries at l'Orangerie a number of times and stood where you are posing, though, unlike you, I didn't have the foresight to wear an outfit that would bring out the purple and lilac colors in his paintings. :-)

I hope you crossed the Seine and took in the treasures of the d'Orsay, too. A lesser known museum that showcases more of Monet's works is in the 16th, at the Musee Marmottan. A trip to Giverny is worth the effort, as well. Monet's ponds have been well maintained. The waterlilies are there, as is the little Japanese bridge.

Oh, I want to return so badly! But I'm happy for you and your family that you are using your time in Europe to soak it all in.

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Thank you, Ellen-- The

Thank you, Ellen-- The l'Orangerie was such a treat. It's fun to hear you've been as well. We did not make it to d'Orsay this time with our three boys, but we hope to see more in future trips. I would love to see Giverny... perhaps a good trip for the growing season. Maybe I could forethink a coordinating outfit again. :0)

Thanks for taking the time to write...


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It's probably a little tough

It's probably a little tough in some ways with three young boys, but the d'Orsay is a former train station, so maybe you can motivate them with that. :-)

I saw Giverny in the dead of summer, around the 4th of July. It's enough off the beaten path to not attract all the tourist throngs one sees in Paris that time of year, but still close enough to the city to make a decent day trip. I imagine spring there is beautiful, but I think the gardeners plant such that something is in full flower almost any time of year.

And, yes, you will want to wear a suitable outfit. . .all that posing on the Japanese bridge and such. We Monet lovers have to do that. It's practically the law. :-)