Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Giverny (7/5/2016)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
We had arrived in Vernon, France.
After breakfast, we boarded the motor coaches according to our assigned letter. On the bus, the guide used the speaker system of the bus. While walking, we had QuietVox receivers with an ear piece to listen to the tour guide. In order to be sure you were listening to your own particular guide, you ran the tip of the receiver over a specially encoded laminated sheet, to tune into the proper frequency.
The bus left Vernon by crossing the Pont/Bridge Clemenceau over the Seine.
Old bridge abutments and Vieux Moulin/Old Mill (Maybe 16C)
After only about 10 minutes, we arrived in the town of Giverny, to see the house and gardens of artist Claude Monet.
Rue Claude Monet, the main street in Giverny (KSS)
Behind the Impressionism Museum is a field of poppies,
and in season there will be haystacks, like those painted by Monet
Bee in unidentified flower (KSS)
A neighbor of Monet
A peek into the neighbor's garden across the alley from Monet
Monet's second studio (1980s)
The alley next to Monet's property
with overhanging kiwi plants
Baby kiwis
Our group was taken first to the Jardin d'Eau/Water Garden. In 1883, Monet purchased additional land across the railroad tracks from his house. Ru Brook that crossed the land was dammed to form a pond. Inspired by Japanese prints, Monet had local craftsmen build a Japanese-style arched bridge that was then covered with wisteria. The Japanese bridge and waterlily pond were subjects of many Monet paintings.
Entering the Jardin d'eau/Water Garden (KSS)
Ru Brook
Monet left some old trees on the property so that
the garden would look established from the beginning
Japanese Bridge (a replica of the original)
Weeding the waterlily pond (KSS)
Rose trellis by the pond
Rhubarb (or so we were told!)
Gunnera manicata from South America
Waterlily pond
By 1912, Monet was going blind with cataracts, so he painted the changing reflections of the pond's surface.
Passing the Japanese Bridge again
"Monet's flat-bottom boat  by the bamboo grove (KSS)
We walked back through the passageway under the railroad tracks, to see Clos Normand/Walled-in Norman Garden. When Monet purchased this property in 1890, it was an orchard divided by an allée of evergreens. He left two of the yew trees and some of the fruit trees, and began planting flowers in rows of flowerbeds with varying height and seasons of bloom.
Monet apparently liked to have climbing roses
popping up here and there on trellises 
The allée now has arched rose trellises,
and the path is lined with nasturtiums
You can barely see his house through the garden growth
There is some color, even in July
Flowerbeds (KSS)
Orchid Dahlia
Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black' (KSS)
Low espaliered apple trees
White Polish chickens?
Escargot! (KSS)
Rose trellis allée at the house end
Monet's house with walls covered with crushed brick
For the tour of the house, the guide could not continue speaking while inside, so she stayed outside to talk, and we could continue to listen while inside!
Monet discovered the village of Giverny when passing it in a train. He rented this farmhouse in 1883, and moved in with his mistress, Alice Hoschedé (she married him when her husband died in 1891), his two sons, and her six children. In 1890 he was able to purchase the house and garden.
Monet's first studio now displays excellent copies of his
paintings and those of his friends
Paintings of Monet's first wife, Camille (who died
in 1879), and his two sons, Jean and Michel (KSS)
The family's 18C rolltop desk (KSS)
Monet's bedroom
View from Monet's bedroom
Blanche Hoschedé-Monet’s bedroom
Alice's daughter, Blanche, married Monet's son, Jean. She became the caretaker of the home when Claude Monet died in 1926.
Yellow-painted dining room, nearly every room downstairs
has walls covered Monet's collection of Japanese prints
Apparently, while all of Monet's original paintings are elsewhere, his collection of Japanese prints are what we saw in his home! Many are from Katsushika Hokusai (23) and Utagawa Hiroshige (48).
Pottery on the dining room mantel (KSS)
Kitchen pots
Tiled kitchen (KSS)
Blue Rouen tiles
Monet's third studio (1915)
Monet's house
After the tour, we had 45 minutes free time. We headed up the main street of Giverny.
White Garden of the Impressionism Museum,
which was closed in preparation for a new exhibit
Hollyhocks along Rue Claude Monet
Lingering wisteria
Église Sainte-Radegonde de Giverny
(11C apse, 15-16C)
Monument to the seven crew members of a
Royal Air Force MK I Lancaster plane that was
shot down by Germans June 8, 1944;
they are buried in the cemetery (KSS)
The Monet family grave site, including Claude Monet
Church cemetery
French WWII War Memorial (KSS)
A megalithic monument, referred to as St Radegonde's Grave,
where pilgrims would come for healing of scabies/skin diseases
Église Sainte-Radegonde apse
Stained glass window of St Roch/Rocco and his dog;
he is the patron saint of dogs!
St Radegonde
Statue of St Louis d'Anjou
(14C polychrome stone)
Alley off Rue Claude Monet
Hôtel Baudy
In 1886, American artist William Metcalf wandered into Giverny and had a meal in a small café. He became enamored with the town, and returned with friends. The owner of the café, Angela Baudy, offered them her own room to stay overnight. She also had them meet Claude Monet. Baudy decided to expand her business into a hotel and restaurant, and even built an artist's studio, thus the beginning of the American artists' colony in Giverny.
Artists' studio behind the hotel
Back on the bus and back to Vernon.
This was supposed to be a photo of the Viking Rolf, but another
river cruise ship is double-parked next to it
We are welcomed back with flutes of champagne and grenadine
Lunch was a Taste of Normandy
Comté and Livarot cheeses
Cured meats and terrine
Pork neck and other delicacies
Gummy Eiffel Tower
Viking Rolf dining room with accordionist entertainment
Today's view: a little green on the embankment!
Next: Vernon.

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