The third lovely thing about Giverny is the museum that originally opened as the Musee d’Art Americain in Giverny in 1992. In Giverny at the turn of the nineteenth century there had been a sizeable American artists’ colony and the museum hoped to investigate the link between French and American art. In 2006 the original foundation withdrew and the museum became Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny connected to Musee d’Orsay. We saw an exhibit called From Delacroix to Signac Drawings from the Dyke Collection. It was a pleasure seeing well known artists’ drawings rather than their paintings. I am a sucker for a well-drawn line and there were many, many here. Also, an exhibit of photographs of Giverny by Bernard Plossu. The museum keeps one gallery room with a few lesser Monets along with works by his contemporaries. (All the important Monets are in Paris, but they don’t want Monet’s home town to be completely bereft of his paintings.)
No photographs inside, but a garden, of course. Small spaces surrounded by hedges. Like little rooms on a theme…colors and shapes were the themes. I would go back there to stroll and investigate more.
I must mention here that the Snapseed App I like so much has had an update which eliminated the former way to make frames and substituted a whole new routine which, I might add, I am not sure I like. Maybe they will grow on me, but at this point I am negative.
When we were in the gallery room that had Monet and his friends I studied all the pictures and came to one that made me jump up and down. There was a painting by Guy Rose my all time favorite California Impressionist who had been one of Monet’s friends and had lived in Giverny for a while. He also lived in Pasadena where I grew up. I pulled out the catalogue I purchased when the Oakland Museum of California had an exhibit of his work in 1995. Re-reading some of it today I found that Rose and his wife had registered at Hotel Baudy and I just know in my mind that he painted in that lovely atelier that was in my pictures. Here are some pictures of items in the catalogue.
November, ca. 1910
Monet’s water lily pond.
From the catalogue:
“What Guy learned from these personal conversations with Monet about Monet’s painting would have been formidable and invaluable in and of itself. While Rose was living at Giverny, Monet was at work on a series of paintings of his water lily pond. This series, so admired by Rose, demonstrated the abstract possibilities in painting reflected color. Capturing the shimmering distortions of colored light on water, Monet broadly suggested known objects, but more often he directly exploited expansive areas of agitated, brilliant hue. The fragmented reflections of trees, flowers, and air meshed in his water-lily series, becoming less and less descriptive of those things per se than a record of refined perceptions. As did so many other painters, Rose saw in Monet’s technique a method with which to interpret the sensations of being in nature in addition to merely describing nature.”—by Will South
Point Lobos, Carmel, ca 1919
Rose’s paintings represent so much of what typifies where I grew up.
Then, we had to leave this lovely place so we caught the bus back to Vernon and got on the train for our ride back to Paris (dare I say home…).