Monet’s greatest work of art…his garden

Alas, I did not journey to France to visit Giverny.  No, I visited the exhibit of Monet’s Garden at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

My friend Betsy and I decided we needed to take another one of our adventures, and this appealed to us.  We began in the conservatory with this delightful reflected photograph of Monet’s famous waterlilies.

We progressed from there outdoors to visit the real thing.

The water garden was not part of the original property Monet purchased near Giverny.  In fact,  it lies across a set of railroad tracks.  His plan to create the lily pond caused great consternation among his neighbors who feared his exotic plants would poison their water supply.  He placated them by paying to have the local road paved (which also cut down on the dust drifting onto his plants).  Neighbors haven’t changed much, have they?

Here’s a closeup of one of the fabulous flowers Monet captured so gorgeously in his paintings:

Next we found a recreation of the famous Japanese bridge, blessedly back indoors since the day had become quite hot.

We progressed past the bridge (after walking across it, of course.  Who could resist?) to the Grande Allée recreated to match the brilliant colors and unstructured beds of Monet’s Giverny.

I’ve grafted two photos together to give you a sense of what it’s like to walk through the arches.  The colors are glorious, with juxtapositions a non-artist would never attempt, like the one below.

The exhibit includes wonderful photographs from both the artist’s time and today, as well as letters Monet wrote about creating the garden (including his problems with the difficult neighbors).  Two of his paintings are on display (also blissfully air-conditioned).  However, despite his fame and success as a prolific painter (2,500 paintings!), here is what Monet had to say about his art:


5 responses to “Monet’s greatest work of art…his garden

  1. So beautiful! What a great adventure.

  2. It was quite delightful, Lisa. I highly recommend the excursion.

  3. Hi, Nancy!

    Monet is one of my favorites of all time. There was a woman in Dallas who had one of Monet’s Waterlilies in her BATHROOM! I can just imagine the size of that bathroom, and what she had to do to protect the painting from steam damage. She bequeathed the painting to the Dallas Museum of Art. Here is a link to the story.

    I, too, used to have a Monet painting in my bathroom…my friend Dixie, in Dallas, gave me a postcard of the bridge, above, framed, so I could hang it and pretend I was as rich as that other Dallas lady..

    Thanks for sharing such beautiful paintings and photos! It sounds like a glorious day!


  4. Jaye, I will aspire to have a Monet in my bathroom someday too. LOL! Although I think I’d rather have a Van Gogh, honestly. He’s my favorite totally-out-of-my-reach artist. How did you protect your postcard from the humidity? 🙂

  5. Mmm, I love Van Gogh, also. He was my first (artist) love. Have you been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam? Heaven on earth!

    As for the postcard…I think it finally succumbed.


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