It’s said that Claude Monet was on a train when he looked out, saw this village and decided that he wanted to live here: amidst all the lush greenery and hills, where it was so serene and laid-back, like nothing bad can ever happen. He didn’t have enough money to buy the house but he wanted it so he rented and saved up until he had the funds to purchase not just the house but the surrounding land. He lived here with his family from 1883 until his death in 1926. His son later donated the property to the Acedemie des Beau-Arts in the 60s, and after restoration works, it was opened to the public in the 80s.
There are no more original artworks by Monet in the property (his famous works are in various museums in Paris, most notably the Musee l’Orangerie – I’ll dedicate a separate post for that), but replicas and reprints hang on the walls in their original locations, so that visitors can get an idea of what the house looked like during his time. Picture-taking isn’t allowed inside though, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I fell in love with the vividly painted rooms, with one even in yellow!
I’m quite fond of gardens and anything that has to do with nature so I didn’t pass up the chance to get lost in the garden. What can I say? I loved it. I loved that nothing felt contrived, you know, overly manicured and painstakingly-maintained gardens so common with mansions. In Monet’s property, every bush, every tree felt natural, like they all just sprang from the ground, like it wasn’t at all weird to see a Japanese garden in the middle of the French countryside.
Even the tendrils and small blossoms from vines made perfect frames for the scenery. I could imagine myself staying here for hours and just letting my mind wander off… Or sit and read a book until the mosquitoes force me back to the house.
I would have loved to explore the village itself but our tour was limited to the house (and the drive to/from Paris already took quite some time). I’d love to go back there sometime and just wander around.