Today I went to Giverny. Giverny is where Claude Monnet lived, the jardin (garden), which was also his studio, is located in the petit village of Vernon. Vernon is only an hour outside of Paris and one has to take the train to get there. Mes amies, Emily and Annalise, et moi hurried to catch the 10:20 grande ligne. Il fait frais et beau mais il y a beaucoup des orages (The weather was cool and beautiful but there were a lot of clouds). Pas du solieil. But it was still a decent day and I wanted to go see the le jardin des coleurs (colorful garden) before the autumn freeze hit.
Once we arrived, we decided to walk the 5km (1.93 miles) to the garden and take a nice brisk walk through Vernon. Très genial et sympa (brilliant and nice). There is obviously a huge difference between the city and the country side. But it’s even more different when you’re in another country. En France, I have noticed that, for the most part, people live in petite vieille maisons (small old houses) as opposed to bigger more developed homes. It was neat, yet also creepy haha, to take pictures of people’s front doors, gardens, fruit growing in their yard, and the occasional le chien (dog) or le cheval (horse). We pet two horses on our très longue promenade (very long walk). The sign said it would take 1h30 (1 hour and 30 minutes) to walk to Giverny. It took us 2 because we stopped to prendre beaucoup des photos (take many photos).
Après notre déjeuner (after our lunch), we strolled through the jardins de Monet. Even though it was a cloudy, ill spirited day, the flowers were still magnifique! One can clearly see all the colors in his jardin inspired the vibrant splotches of oil on his canvasses. The lovely jardin l’eau (water garden) where his famous water lily and bridge paintings adapted from had a tranquille flow and a spell-bounding trance. I was astounded by the beauty and nature of this immense flourishing garden. Monet and sa famille moved here in 1883, and it’s still here thriving and radiating tantalizing hues of indigos, jade, olive, emerald, lemon, ruby, and victorious blues.
After taking une promenade (a walk) through the jardin, we toured la maison de Monet (Monet’s house). He lived in a small cottage with walls painted just as strikingly colorful like his paintings. There was a collection of his original work in one of the rooms and in la salle à manger there was a collection of Japanese artwork that Monet collected. He really liked their style of art, c’est bizarre because it is more animated than his impressionist work. An interesting fact: Monet had walked into every room of his house…except for his kitchen! He obviously didn’t think it was a room he needed to be in. I guess sexism translates everywhere in the world unfortunately (with the exception that this was back in the 1800s so it was more prominent). Personally, I think Monet made a huge mistake because sa cuisine (his kitchen) est la meilleur chambre dans la maison (the best room in the house). Check out these stunning shades of virtuous sapphire blue. How could one avoid a kitchen with colors like that!
It was a lovely day at Giverny, but what was even a lovelier sight were the different national backgrounds of the tourists touring the jardin. I’m not a huge fan of tourists (and especially rude loud ones who don’t even attempt to speak the language of the country they’re in). But it reminded me how art is not only a cultural aspect, but it’s a worldly subject. Even though there are different cultural norms, identities, languages, and so on, art speaks every language, and that is the language of emotion. You do not have to be trilingual to understand Monet’s stroke of paint brush genius or the beauty of each petal and lily pad strewn through the jardin. Art speaks for itself in a way that everyone can translate.