In 1883, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet sought tranquility and nature in the Normand village of Giverny. Over the next 43 years until his death, Monet's artistic development flourished alongside the garden he cultivated with immense care. This five-hour excursion, in the company of an art historian, is a unique opportunity to discover his magnificent home and gardens.
Monet's career was intimately entwined with the course of the river Seine. He grew up in Le Havre where the river meets the English Channel, then settled at various locations upstream, including Argenteuil and Paris, before finally settling in the Normand village of Giverny. By this time he was beginning to make a name for himself after many years of arduous struggle. Soon the peaceful village was overrun with young artists hoping to meet Monet or at least to be inspired by the same captivating landscape.
Our excursion begins in Paris, our discussion beginning on the short train ride to Giverny. Once in Giverny we will start with a visit to Monet's house and gardens, which have been lovingly restored. Fans of Monet's paintings and garden-lovers alike will be inspired by the changing dominant colors of Monet's gardens from month to month: blue and rose in April, lilac and white in May, rose and mauve in June, rose and red at the beginning of July. A visit to Giverny offers an insight into this fruitful period of his life when he was able to fully realize his aesthetic ambitions. Although there are no actual canvases in on-site, it can be said that the construction, layout and nurture of his gardens was as much a part of the artist's work as his paintings.
At the end of the visit you may either stay on alone in Giverny to visit the Musee des Impressionismes and enjoy lunch in the town, or return directly to Paris with your docent.
|Duration: 5 hours|
|Venues: Fondation Claude Monet|
|Incidentals: Shuttle Bus Tickets- €8.00|
The daughter of a sculptor, Marie has been surrounded by art ever since she was born. A native Parisienne, she holds an undergraduate degree in history and art history, with a specialty in iconography and French and Flemish paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries. She also holds a Master's degree in museology from the Ecole du Louvre and one in Art History from the Sorbonne. She currently works for the French National Art History Institute on special cultural events. Since she loves literature, ballet, theatre, opera, jazz clubs, and classical concerts—she has been playing the piano since she was 9—Paris and its artistic life are a perfect fit.
James King is a British artist who has lived in France for nearly 20 years. He has taught and lectured extensively on modern and contemporary art but is first and foremost a practicing artist himself. He leads a number of hands-on painting and drawing workshops for Context Paris in Giverny, Auvers sur Oise (the last home of Van Gogh), and other places.
Marie Theres Berger
Marie Theres Berger is a painter who has made Paris her home for more than two decades. She works in her studio in Montmartre and shows her paintings in galleries in Europe and the United States. She studied history at the University of Cologne, Germany and painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia before coming to Paris to study art history at the Ecole de Louvre. Her knowledge of art history is enhanced by her practical painting experience. Beyond a purely academic approach this enables her to convey the emotional dimension of the artwork and to focus attention on the act of creation. She loves to share her passion for art and painting and is fascinated by the 19th-century artistic heritage of Paris, its art movements, and urbanism.
After traveling around Australia and North America, Marie decided upon return to her home country of France that she wanted to share the richness of French history and culture with others. She now has a degree in cultural heritage from ESTHUA in Angers, France and has also received her French National guiding license. Marie perfected her guiding skills in the Loire Valley of France, specializing in the cultural history of the Châteaux at Blois, Amboise, and Cheverny. She later worked in Normandy, leading walks of the WWII landing beaches and the UNESCO world heritage site of Mont St. Michel. Marie has recently relocated to the city of light and looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm and passion for the "open history book" that is Paris with travelers.