The Artist’s Garden at Giverny
By 1900, Claude Monet had been living in the Paris suburb of Giverny for almost two decades. In that time, he was able to completely transform the land to suit his taste. He planted irises, weeping willows, built a Japanese pond, and a wooden bridge. Monet did all this to create his own artistic oasis where he could paint nature as he saw it.
In Monet’s The Artist’s Garden at Giverny, painted in 1900, we see rows of color. On the bottom half Monet paints, with characteristic thick brushstrokes, rows of irises glistening in varying shades of violet. Where the trees above block the sunlight, the flowers are dark with highlights of white. In the middle the sun pierces through the trees filling the space with light purple, pink, lilac, and white. Monet has shown the brightness of the day, the sun bouncing off the delicate flowers.
The rows of flowers are defined by paths cut into the garden. The brown of the dirt contrasts against the bright irises, and their green stems compliment the violet masses. The top of the painting consists of the leaves of the trees growing behind the flowers hanging down into the picture pane. Deep greens, reds, and browns show the different tree families Monet had for his garden. Willows, poplars, and apple trees, among many more, were all part of his vast garden. Through the trees you can see a hint of his house, the bright green and white reflecting the light.
With his garden, Monet was able to manipulate nature to his needs. In order to paint nature with the most vibrant colors, he was able to hand pick the plants and flowers in nature. If one petal was too dirty, Monet was able to clean it. The Artist’s Garden at Giverny shows the order and detail Monet had within his garden, and shows where he was going as an artist. The blocks of color would show up again in his Water Lilies paintings.
Return to Monet's Paintings
Sketch of Woman and Umbrella
Waterlilies at Giverny