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Walking Through Monet's Masterpiece

As the inspiration for numerous Monet paintings, his water lily pond in Giverny displayed the artist's feminine side as well as his Japanese influence.
As the inspiration for numerous Monet paintings, his water lily pond in Giverny displayed the artist’s feminine side as well as his Japanese influence.

Traveling the western coast of France, inspirations for impressionist paintings were not hard to come by. With voyagers venturing into Honfleur, Fécamp, Étretat, and even their port city of Le Havre, picturesque seaside towns and vibrant sunsets developed a panorama only left to inspire the 19th century greats, such as Claude Monet.

Some voyagers did venture a bit further to trace Monet’s roots. Heading into the country to the small town of Giverny, they came on a mission to explore Monet’s home, his beloved gardens, and the famous water lily pond. Much to their delight, what they found was quite similar to paintings they witnessed hanging on the walls of the world’s most famous art museums.

Separated by a road, the water lily pond and the “Clos Normand” garden in front of his house showed two sides of Monet infused with inspirations from around the world. With a new type of flower around every twist and turn, the variety in his gardens could not go be missed. During his travels, Monet collected various flowers and brought them back to his gardens in Giverny. Such still holds true today as the gardeners continue his tradition of introducing new flowers from around the world to form an internationally eclectic floral experience.

“The Lily pads and the reflection you got off the pond was incredible," noted Monica Lee, student from Hofstra University.
‚ÄúThe Lily pads and the reflection you got off the pond was incredible,” noted Monica Lee, student from Hofstra University.
Student from the University of Virginia, Lucy Call, photographs Monet's lily pond. “I knew Monet growing up, especially from my grandma. It was very cool to see (his gardens) after I had been learning about it my whole life,” she said.
Student from the University of Virginia, Lucy Call, photographs Monet’s lily pond. ‚ÄúI learned about Monet growing up, especially from my grandma. It was very cool to see (his gardens) after I had been learning about them my whole life,‚Äù she said.
Crossing over the lily pond, Murali Rao gets a great vantage point of the entire water garden.
Crossing over the lily pond, Murali Rao gets a great vantage point of the entire water garden.
“I loved that aisle of flowers in the old Monet driveway,” said Gabrielle Passarelli of Western Connecticut State University. The floral opening in the xx served as the masculine contrast to the pond's feminine nature.
‚ÄúI loved that aisle of flowers in the old Monet driveway,‚Äù said Gabrielle Passarelli of Western Connecticut State University. The floral opening in the Clos Normand served as the masculine contrast to the pond’s feminine nature.
Monica Lee, student from Hofstra University, observes the "Clos Normand" garden with her professors and peers. "I love that he designed the gardens himself,” she reflected.
Monica Lee (center), student from Hofstra University, observes the “Clos Normand” garden with her professors and peers. “I love that Monet designed the gardens himself,‚Äù she reflected.
Fall 2014 voyagers head toward Claude Monet's house to get a deeper understanding of his life and influences. “It was a rare opportunity to see Giverny…The (Clos Normand) garden was quite a surprise," said faculty member John Meunier (left).
Fall 2014 voyagers head toward Claude Monet’s house to get a deeper understanding of his life and artistic influences. ‚ÄúIt was a rare opportunity to see Giverny‚Ķ The (Clos Normand) garden was quite a surprise,” said faculty member John Meunier (left).
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