Going After Monet
Claude Monet (1840-1926) is the issue of the Route. He became to be as one of the main symbols of the revolutionary epoch in the painting. His contribution to impressionism is notable. "The Japanese Bridge" and the "Nympheas" are possibly of the best known works. But there are hundreds more.
The Joy of color is the main present he grants us. Years of hard work and misery, a lot of critics - until the people had recognized him. But as far as he was recognized, no cultured man in the world is unfamiliar with his works. Today his name is in the same row with great painters of the past (Leonardo, Buonarotti, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens and others) as like with his fellows - Renoir, Sisley, Pissaro, Degas, Bonnard, Morrison, Cezanne, Manet and else.
Our trip is into the Country of Claude Monet - the wonderful Normandy. At the end we will visit some of the best Parisian museums to admire the products of Monet's brush.
Here is the plan of the Route:
Day 1. From Paris to Giverny and Dieppe
Day 2. Rouen and Le Havre
Day 3. Caen, Bayeux and Mt St Michel
Day 4. Mt St Michel and St Malo (and, possibly, Dinan) or Honfleur and Deauville
Day 5. Paris - Musee Marmottan, Musee d'Orangerie and Musee d'Orsay
Remember that every day of the trip is full of activity. So, try to leave your bedroom as earlier as possible. At home you'll have enough time to sleep.
Now, let us to start the trip.
At the FIRST DAY we'll visit two important sites: Giverny and Dieppe. The first one is the house of Claude Monet with its wonderful gardens (changing according to season). The second one is lovely sea port painted in some of Monet's works.
To reach Giverny, catch at the Parisian Gare St Lazare the train to Vernon. The best train is the one, which leaves at 08:16 am. At 09:02 you'll arrive at Vernon. Here, take the bus to Giverny (buy the return ticket as far as it costs cheaper). You'll arrive at the gates of the museum some 20 - 30 minutes earlier. So, you can walk a bit around the museum and make some great pictures.
The Museum of Claud Monet opens its gates at 10:00 o'clock (closed Monday). The place is open from April to October. You can choose to visit the gardens only (the price of the ticket will be 10 FF lower - 25FF). Personally, I was impressed - hardly impressed - by gardens. The visit of the house is not really worth. But if you are there - add 10 FF and visit it too to prevent the thoughts "if I lost something".
Monet had bought this piece of land in 1893. The gardens were opened for the visitors (after the restoration works) in 1980's.
Monet had built two gardens - Clos Normandian and Water Garden. In the first, every season you can find different flowers. Roses - in June and July, dahlias - from July to October and so on.
The second garden with mysterious lake and well-known Japanese bridge hosts water lilies and other waterphile plants. When Monet first had planted lilies, the peasants were against it. They thought it could poison the waters. Today these lilies bring prosperity to the whole region. Some of the most famous pictures were painted here: "Japanese Bridge", "Nympheas" and so on. Working here was Monet's life during more than 30 years.
Every season and every change in the nature had found its place in his pictures. The "Japanese Bridge" painted in summer and autumn can be found in the Parisian d'Orsay. The "Nympheas" fulfils two oval rooms in Musee d'Orangerie. Try to remember the gardens to find them painted in Paris.
Try to avoid of the visit of the museum in Tuesday and Thursday. These days are very crowded, because of the vast of the groups.
Bring your photo or video camera. Otherwise, you will not forgive yourself.
To learn more information about the gardens, visit non-profit site about Giverny and Vernon:
If you have enough time and a car, you can try the visit of Vernon too. But if you want enough time for Dieppe, the only place I can recommend you is the Musee Americain (the same opening hours as Monet's). Entry fee - 35 FF. It's situated on the same street as Monet's museum. Paintings of American impressionists are there.
Close to 12:00 you have a bus from Monet's Museum to the train station. Nine minutes before one o'clock board on the train to Rouen.
Arriving at Rouen (13:36) take a train to Dieppe (13:59). Less than one hour later your train is in Dieppe.
Dieppe is one of places, which was attracting Claude Monet. And not only him. Thousands of tourists from all over France and a lot of English are coming to enjoy the air of the beaches. The royal duo of Napoleon III and Empress Eugene is one of them.
Dieppe has a long and remarkable past, always linked with people and events from across the sea. The name of the city derives from "djupa", meaning "deep" in the Vikings' language. In XVI century it became to be the principal port of the French Kingdom. It was from here sent boats to find the future New York City. The settlers of Quebec had left from Dieppe too. Later a lot of Canadians were killed during the attempt to liberate the city in 19 August 1942. Visit their graves.
You have a chance to walk around the nice pedestrianised town center and renovated old quarters (all are close to the beach).
Leaving train station with Blvd Georges Clemeanceau and then turning right to rue Gambetta, you'll reach the chateau (June-Sept daily 10:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00, the rest of the year - except Tuesday is closing at 17:00).
An exit from the western side of chateau will bring you out onto a path up to the cliffs. These were painted by Monet in one of his beautiful pictures. You can make a short (or a long) walk along the nice picturesque beach.
Although you can stay for a night in Dieppe, I'd recommend you to come back to Rouen. It'll let you to start your walk around the ancient Rouen early enough.
At 19:25 board on the train to Rouen. One hour later you'll arrive at the city.
If you want to eat, you are welcome to visit Place de Vieux Marche - the main point concentrating a lot of restaurants. Of course, a lot of restaurants are placed all over the historic center.
If you like night walk then you can reveal the mystery of night Rouen. Quiet and empty streets and yards are waiting for you. Especially marvelous is the region around the Cathedrale. Its high wonderful towers had attracted Monet. At night they are lighted.
At the next day wake up as earlier as possible to make the tour around the city. The city is known as a place of church towers and many half-timbered houses.
But, of course, the most remarkable historical point is chained to Jean d'Arc. The French peasant woman which risen against the English occupation during 100 years war. She saved the life of the king and the Chinon castle in Loire valley commemorates the meeting between Jean and the King. English Army was seriously worrying about the situation. With the help of Burgundians Jean was captured. Before its execution Jean was held in the chateau built by Philippe August. The tower is the only remain of the place. You're welcome to visit it for 10 FF (10:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00 (except Tues)).
From the Tour follow to rue Jean Lecanuet to visit Fine Arts Musem and the Locks and Keys Museum. Both are open daily except Tuesday (10:00-13:00, 14:00-18:00). Leaving the museums continue your walk with rue Jean Lecanuet to reach the Place Hotel de Ville. The fascinating City Hall's square with fountains and impressive Eglise St Ouen will attract your attention. The entrance into this XIV century Abbey is through lovely gardens. The building was built in High Gothic style (so high that you have to have a very good zoom to make a good picture).
Now, with rue d'Amiens and rue Hugo reach rue Martainville. Here you are in the historical center of the city. The latter street will lead you to Eglise St Maclou built in XV century and decorated in Renaissance.
On the opposite side of the street Martainville (no 186) you can visit Aitre St Maclou - the burial place of the plague's victims. The mortal atmosphere of the place is very impressive.
Crossing the rue de la Republique to rue St Romain you are approaching the Cathedral. Visit this wonderful gigantic building. Find some rest under high ceilings of the church. Visits of the crypt are possible only at weekends. The church was built between XIII and XV centuries. Seriously damaged during WWII it's now restored for its previous glory.
Now, cross rue des Carmes to continue your walk with rue du Gros Horloge. This is, possibly, the heart of the historical center. Half-timbered houses on your left and right. Tufrning right you'll find the wonderful Gothic building of Palais de Justice. In Saturdays (14:30) you can visit Jewish Monument, a stone building used by Rouen Jews as a synagogue.
Finish your walk at the Place de Vieux Marche where Jean was executed. The wonderful modern-style church tells you the story of Jean's life.
Although you can prefer to lose yourself on the ancient streets of Rouen, I can suggest you a short trip to Le Havre - one of additional points linked with Claude Monet.
Take the train to Le Havre at 13:47. 50 minutes later leave the train and go straight to Fine Arts Museum. It has one of the best collections of impressionist paintings, including those by Monet. Here you can see also the paintings by Dufy and Eugene Boudin, the teacher of Monet. Monet and Boudin were very close friends. Monet ought to Boudin his success.
Monet liked the city. He has paintings dedicated to it. But today it's completely different place. Destroyed by Nazis and rebuilt in Stalinist style, it has nothing in common with Le Havre of Monet. Of course, you can make some short trip and walk down to the sea beach. But at 19:52 board the back train to Rouen.
Net day again wake up as earlier as possible. We'll visit two cities, which don't have any link with Monet, but are nice places for a few hours of walk.
Wake up as earlier as possible, because your train from Rouen to Caen departs at 06:45. At 08:29 you are in Caen.
The city of Caen is the capital of Basse Normandy. Once it was one of the finest cities in Normandy. The bombs of the last war destroyed the city almost completely. Ramparts are the only remains of the big Ducal castle. But you have still enough valuable places to spend about three hours. The tomb of William The Conqueror is one of them.
After you leave the train station, take a bit left to begin your walk by long Avenue du 6 Juin. The street goes to Chateau de Caen. On the right side of the street you will see the gold-made statue of Jeanne d'Arc. On your left, close to rue des Martyrs, you will find Eglise St Jean and monument commemorating the victims of anti-Semitism. Visit that nice church. On the backside of the church you can visit some patisserie and buy raspberry cake.
Come back to Avenue du 6 Juin and continue until you see on your left Eglise St Pierre. Then turn left and follow by rue St Pierre. That is a pedestrianized street. Some fashion and jewelry boutiques are there. Continue you walk straight till Hotel de Ville and Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey). The Abbey was built by William the Conqueror. Previously, Hotel de Ville was a part of the Abbey too. Today you can visit Hotel de Ville for free. But the most important part of the building is the Eglise St Etienne. There you will find the tomb of William (once it had contained his remains). The unceasing organic sound accompanies you every time. The atmosphere of mortality is everywhere, especially in the dark corners of the church. The feel is of a ceased time.
After you have left the church, ask the people about the closest way to Chateau. The walk must take no more than 10 minutes. In the castle climb up the ancient ramparts. Upstairs you have a great view on Normandy fields. Inside the castle you will find modern building of Musee des Beaux Arts. The entrance is free (9:30-12:30, 14:00-18:00, apart of Tuesday). The museum hosts paintings from XV-XX centuries, ceramics and so on. Not far - Musee de Normandie illustrates the life in Normandy till nowadays. It has the same opening hours as the previous museum. Before you leave the castle, pay your attention to the nice gardens.
After you have left the castle, take left on rue des Chanoines. It will take you to the Abbaye aux Dames. The abbey was built by William's wife, Matilda. Behind the main altar you will find her tomb. The Eglise de la Trinite can be visited free. But the visit of the abbey is by guided tours only.
Now it is the time to finish you trip. By rue des Chanoines come back to Avenue du 6 Juin. Then if you are tired or don't have enough time, take a bus to the train station. YOU HAVE TO BE BACK THERE BEFORE 12:32 to take train to Bayeux. Otherwise, you have to wait until 14:11.
At 12:46 you'll arrive to Bayeux. Bayeux is known for the 70-m tapestry. The tapestry tells the story of William's conquest. Also, Bayeux was the first French town the Allies freed. So, you are not far from D-Day beaches too.
From a tiny train station take a bit right and then left and downward on Boulevard Sadi Carnot. On the intersection with rue Tardif and rue Larcher continue your walk with rue Larcher. If you visit Bayeux between May and September, visit first la Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux. Otherwise, visit first the Cathedrale Notre Dame, because the museum opens its doors at 14:00 only (to 18:00).
To visit the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux take right from rue Larcher to rue de Nesmond. On your left you will find the building. At the entrance you can see the desk commemorating the visit by the British royal family. The entry fee - 38 FF (it includes the visit of two another museums; so, don't through the ticket out after you have finished your visit of the museum). For additional 5 FF you receive audiotape with the commentaries. It will help you to omit the visit of preceding exposition with commentaries. You also can see the film.
In the exposition's hall you will find 70 m long tapestry representing the steps of Norman conquest of England in 1066. Remember that the tapestry was made during William's life. So, it's very ancient. From the tapestry you can learn something about the dress fashions of the time. Also, the information can help you to be a bit more careful in Mt St Michel's moving sands. There you can find the picture where William is saving one of his soldiers. After you leave the exposition, you know all details of the conquest story (maybe it's not really objective information, but you are enough intelligent to filter it).
On the opposite side of rue Larcher you'll find Cathedrale Notre Dame. Most of the building represents Norman Gothic style of XIII century. Part of the building was added later. Although the building's glory is far from that of Rouen's Cathedrale, its walls can easily impress you. You can visit it from 9:00 to 18:00.
Close to the Cathedrale you will reveal two another nice museums. The first is Musee Baron Gerard. Its open hours are the same as those of the Tapestry's museum. It hosts paintings from middle ages (French and Italian) till impressionists' periods. Also, you will find there a lot of "objets des arts" (like porcelain jars). When you leave the museum pay your attention to the Tree of Liberty. It was planted at the year of the French Revolution (so, it's a something 200 y/o tree - a bit respect, please).
Another museum you have to visit is Musee Diocesain d'Art Religieux and Conservatoire de la Dentelle. It's not a big museum, but it contains good examples of religious dress and liturgical "objets". At the same building you will find the old ladies making lace. It's a unique place of Norman lacemaking. You also can buy a piece of it, but be prepared for at least three signs sum.
Now come back to rue Larcher and continue straight until rue St Martin. Then take right and on your left side you will find the tourist office of Bayeux. There you can buy the organized tour to most of the D-Day sites. It costs something between 100 and 200 FF. But it's the only way to visit that places, if you don't have a car. I recommend you to call to the tourist office a few days before (tel. 02 31 51 28 28) and to book your place. Remember that you have to come back in Bayeux to take the train to Mt St Michel in 19:24.
If you want to visit the sites by private car and you want some more information about the D-Day's sites, take the "Lonely Planet's" book "France". They give a very detailed information about that.
If you prefer to omit the visit of D-Day sites or if you have still enough time before the tour, make a walk with rue St Jean and rue St Martin. It's a shopping zone of the city.
Than, if the D-Day trip is not for you - come back to the Gare (train station). You have the train to Mt St Michel at 17:08.
If you have left Bayeux at 17:08, than at 18:59 you are in Pontorson station. If you have left it at 19:24, than you will arrive to Pontorson at 21:24. At that time you will not find any bus. But the taxis are meeting all of the trains. So, don't worry. The driver can even help you to find hotel in Mt St Michel. If there are a lot of tourists to Mt St Michel, you won - your trip will be cheaper (I had paid 40 FF in the car of some 10 passengers). If you don't see any taxi around, call to Raymond 02 33 60 26 89. He works 24 hours a day, as was written on his visit card. He had really helped me.
MY RECOMMENDATION is stay for a night in Mt St Michel - even if you have a car. To lie on the bed and to hear the mysterious musical sounds from the Abbey - it's an unforgettable experience. Make it, even if you have very tight budget (the price for doubles is high - 300FF +). If you book the room before, there are more chances to find cheaper room. The tourist office (tel. 02 33 60 14 30) can help you to find the relevant accommodation.
Now, if you are in Mt St Michel take a dinner. Although they are a bit pricier than in the neighboring Pontorson, you can try to find something not very expensive. It's not a problem to find menu for no more than 100 FF. Seek for restaurant with a view on the sands of Mt St Michel. A few people had so romantic dinner like yours.
After you have finished the eating, begin your climbing up to the monastery - the abbey. The central street of the island will bring you to the top. Be prepared for a long way. But you will be rewarded for your efforts. Some 10-15 minutes later you are in the Abbey.
At 21:30 they begin self-paced illuminated performance. You pass room by room, hall by hall and hear some majestic mysterious musical sounds. The special illumination adds a lot to the atmosphere of mystery. Sometimes up you head to see the sculpture of Archangel Michael on the top of the Abbey. Don't fast - now you have enough time. The visit of the Abbey can take 0.5-2.5 hours - depends on you.
After the visiting of the Abbey, try to loose yourself in the tiny alleys of the island. At the night most of the tourists leave the island. So, you can find a lot of silent places. Most of the places are with a view on the bay of Mt St Michel. If you have arrived in October, the sea covers the entire bay.
When you book you hotel ask about the external room - so, you can open your window to hear the mystery of the Abbey.
Today you have enough time to complete the entire program. So, you can sleep a bit more than in two previous days.
Today we will make some walk in Mt St Michel. Also, I recommend you to rest few hours near the sea.
Before you begin your new climbing to the Abbey, buy some bagget. Most of them cost 20 FF.
The Abbey opens at 9:30 (9:00 - May-September). The fee - 40 FF. I recommend you to wait for the guide: they make it at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and so on. But if you want to present at the service, know that it begins at 12:00 (or 12:15) and the latecomers can't enter.
The building of the Abbey had begun in VIII century by Aubert of Avranches. It was devoted to Archangel Michael. Almost 3 centuries later (966) the Abbey was transferred to Benedictines by the Duke of Normandy. Then the Abbey was converted into military fortress. It stayed strong against the English blockades and attacks of 100 years' war. The construction program had lasted until XVI century. So, the Abbey combines different architectural styles. During the French revolution the Abbey was converted into the prison (until 1863). Till now it's a government property.
The modest style of the Abbey is owed to Benedictine doctrine. It combines the Norman Romanesque and Gothic styles. The simple beauty of the cloister captures everybody.
In the Middle Ages the Abbey was one of the four holiest places (others - Jerusalem, Rome and some place in Spain). As we said earlier, the Abbey is devoted to Archangel Michael. The Archangel has 3 main tasks: weighing the souls to separate them into the elect and damn, protection against the demons and the guardance of the Paradise's gates. That's why the chapels with peaks close to heaven are consecrated to him.
After you enter the Guardroom the Ceremonial staircases take you into the abbey's church. The real Marvel is a Gothic monastery. It was constructed after the fire of 1204. Don't miss the extremely beautiful in their elegance and simplicity colonnades of the cloister - intimate place where monks prayed. The colonnades were made of the Caen stone.
After you have finished the visit of the Abbey (the guided tour lasts some 1+ hour) go to the service. If it's not for you, walk all over the island. Visit its tiny cemetery, narrow streets, watch over the bay from the ancient walls of the Abbey. Remember that the bay is very dangerous. At the high tide (especially in October evenings) the sea covers the whole bay. It takes only 20 minutes to cover. So, if you want to make the car trip on the bay, take compass. Otherwise, you can lose the right direction. I heard, the sea killed some tourists. So, be careful.
After you have visited the walls, come back to the main street. In the souvenir shops you can buy some good not expensive gifts.
Also, you can visit 3 museums: Archeoscope, Musee Grevin (wax) and the Maritime museum. The fee for combined ticket - 75 FF. But many tourists prefer to keep themselves from its visit.
If it's not too cold, you can take off your shoes and to walk on the bay around the island (some 1.5-km).
If you don't have a car, than leave the island so you have enough time to visit one little church in the Pontorson - Eglise Notre Dame. This one is an ancient too (XII century). On your way from the Gare to the church you'll find some nice streets and a pretty square commemorating the French soldiers of WWI and WWII.
If you have a car, make a trip to Honfleur.
The city exists more than the millenium. Previously it was one of the most important harbours of Normandy. The goods streamed through the place, especially after the Williams' conquest and America's discovery. In XIX century a lot of impressionists went there after Eugene Boudin (who was born in Honfleur). Those are Renoir, Monet, Dufy, Manet and so on.
Today Honfleur is a very nice little village. Many French visit it on weekends, because the place is only 200 km far from Paris. Make a walk through the narrow streets of the city. Visit picturesque harbors of the city. Don't miss nice fish restaurants along the Quai St Catherine.
Be careful to visit the Musee Eugene Boudin, which hosts the works of most of the important impressionist painters who had visited the city. The museum open from March to September 10:00-12:00, 14:30-17:00 (except Tuesday). The rest of the year the museum is open only at 14:30-17:00. The combined ticket costs 30 FF. This ticket lets you to visit the Clocher St Catherine in Eglise St Catherine. The church was built in XV-XVI centuries. It was built of wood. Open hours are the same as like as of the museum.
Climb up on the XVII century Chapel Notre Dame de Grace to have a look over the city.
If you still have enough time and force, visit Musee de la Marine and Musee d'Ethnographie et d'Art Populaire Normand. Open March-October 10:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00. Combined ticket - 25 FF.
Close to Honfleur you can also visit Deauville, another sea city so loved by Monet.
Now your trip was completed. You can say your friends that you had visited Normandy. Find the right way to Paris and prepare yourself for another itineraries.
If your car is the train, take for 50 FF the bus to St Malo (one-hour trip).
Although St Malo is not Normandy, but Brittany, being close to this magnificent place obliges you to visit it. A lot of info you can find at St Malo site.
Thanks to the monk St Maclou the city became a bishopic center in the XII century. The bishops were strong opposition of the Dukes. In 1590 St Malo had declared itself a republic. During the years St Malo was a city of government-sanctioned pirates and people living by sea trade and boating. The strategic point of the town was inviting attacks from the North. In 1693 and 1696 the British had attacked the National fortress built by Vauban a few years later. The town was damaged too. The most serious damages were made by Allied Troops in 1944 (80% of the city was razed). But many streets were restored and now St Malo is again flourishing in all its beauty.
Visiting St Malo you have to go to well-preserved Fort National built on the rocky island. The fort can be reached by feet during low tides. Close to the train station you'll also find Chateau de St Malo. There you can visit City Museum for 26 FF. Grand Aquarium, the circular aquarium in Europe, and Intra-Muros Aquarium can be visiting too. Your trip can be pleased by the walk to the Ile du Grand Be (achievable by feet in low tide). This island renown for Chateaubriand, the XVIII century writer buried here. At high tides the place becomes to be an island.
Don't miss Cathedrale St Vincent, the magnificent building dated by XI century and famous for its medieval stained-glass windows. Try to loose yourself on the narrow streets of the town.
To come back to Paris is easy by train. Take one of late trains to Rennes at 19:18 or 20:23 and then TGV to Paris Monparnasse at 20:15 or 21:20. The trip from Rennes to Paris lasts a bit more than 2 hours.
Next day I'd recommend you to start the trip at the morning. Although there are many wonderful places in Paris, I'll try to show you only the places where you can meet Monet.
If you wake up early you can make nice morning trip through Boulogne Forest. You have two possible ways to reach Bois de Boulogne. First one, from the Metro "Etoille - Charles de Gaulle" follow all the way with Av. Foch. This street will bring you exactly at the entrance of the Bois (Porte Dauphine entrance). By walking, you can cover the distance by 15 minutes (more or less). The second solution is leaving the Metro at "Porte Dauphine".
When you enter the forest, a lot of the men playing bowling welcome you.
You have two choices. In one case, your visit can take something around one hour. In another case, it can be longer (approaching toward 2-3 hours; of course, you can stay there even the whole day).
If are interested to visit Jardin d'Acclimation, follow with Av. du Mahatma Gandhi. The Jardin open 10.00 to 18.00 (12 FF). This is some combination of Zoo with kids-oriented plants.
If you prefer to omit the visit of the Jardin, follow with the previous Avenue. It will bring to Parc de Bagatelle - a lot of roses and other flowers. "Bagatelle" means, "love". So, you can meet there some kissing pairs. But try to breathe the clean air of the gardens.
Here you can also think about the past of the Forest. If you red Dumas' books, you remember that in this Forest some aristocrats liked to solute the problems with the help of fencing or guns. Now, in the evening, a lot of prostitutes (of both sexes) begin their activity.
Now, come back to Porte Dauphine. To make it, follow along Allee de Longchamp. At its meeting with Route de l'Etoile, turn right on that Route.
With arriving at Porte Dauphine, continue your walk with Route de Suresnes. Walk along the bank of the Lac Inferieur - the largest one in the Forest. Look at the wonderful nature of the place. I'd like to believe that even today, after the storm, the Forest had succeeded to save its representativity. Two little islands are adding a big charm to the place. You can rent a boat to reach them. If are a bit tired, you can rest on the soft green lawns of the forest. A lot of Parisians come here every Sunday for picnics.
When you reach the end of the Lake, turn left on Av. Ingres. Later turn left to Av. Raphael. You are approaching at Jardin du Ranelagh. The high trees cover you head. I had seen the place at the autumn. Yellow/red leafs add the wonder to the park. Remember you are in one of the richest Parisian regions.
From Av. Raphael turn left on rue Louis Boilly. Immediately, on your right you will find the entrance to Musee Marmottan. The museum hosts tens of paintings by Monet. Also, you will find the paintings of Renoir, Sisley and others. The blue paintings of Monet's lilies are attracting your eyes. In your mind, try to restore the pictures of Giverny. Little lake with floating lilies. These pictures were painted mostly between 1916 and 1919. Those were the years of bloody WWI. But in the gardens were peace and silence. Another wonderful painting is "Irises" painted between 1924 and 1925 (see down). The wild colors of the painting supply you with a lot of energy. The museum opens daily, 10.00-17.30. Closed in Monday. Fee - 40 FF.
Leaving the museum continue with Chaussee de la Muette. At the crossroad with rue de Passy enter the Metro Muette and take a train to Concorde. Now, enter into the gates of Jardin des Tuileries and on your left you'll find the great gallery - Musee de l'Orangerie.
The museum open daily, except Tuesday (9:45-17:15, 30 FF; 18 FF - on Sundays). Here you'll find two oval rooms with a set of Decorations des Nympheas by Monet. The paintings are the gift of the painter to the French Republic to sign the victory in WWI. Stay in these rooms some half an hour. Try to be a part of these wonderful pictures. In addition to Monet, you, of course, can see a lot of Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne and others. Outside you can rest a bit near the great fountain (especially, nice at summer to take off your shoes). Also, you can walk around the charm allies.
At Concorde take metro to Monceau. Here you'll yourself in the kingdom of fresh lawns, trees and classical statues. The park is surrounded with XIX century buildings. Here Monet had painted one of the best pictures (see down). This park is also renowned for first parashute jump. In these silent allies you can rest a bit of Parisian noise.
The last, but, possibly, the most important place of our trip is Musee d'Orsay. To reach it, board the metro train to Musee d'Orsay or Solferino. The best day to visit the museum is Thursday, because the doors are open to 21:45 (other days - to 18:00; closed Monday; 40 FF).
The building was built in 1900 as train station. In 1986 it was opened as museum. At night, the building looks especially great.
At the entrance the original gilded station clocks welcome you. You continue the trip at the ground floor. Here you can see the sculptures from the middle of the XIX century. Also, the early paintings by Degas, Manet, Monet and Renoir are there. So, don't lose the chance to see it. After that, reach the third floor to see the sculptures by Degas, Renoir and Gogin. A lot of the visitors are impressed by the wonderful paintings by Seurat, Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley and others. After the visiting of that floor come down to the first floor. On your way, visit some wonderful collection of the Kaganovich family. You will find there the same beauty as at the second floor. The first floor is something less valuable. But skip it too. Symbolism, naturalism the sculptures of the III Republic are good enough to devote a bit of your time.
Amongst the pictures of Monet, don't miss the wonderful paintings of Japanese Bridge from Giverny made in 1899 and 1990. The latter was painted in autumn (see earlier) and the first - in summer. These two paintings are the real joy of color.
Don't miss the Woman with Paratroop. Its magic combination of blue and orange makes the picture very special. It's accepted that Monet had painted his wife in this picture.
Like in Marmottan, you can also find the painting of lilies made in 1916.
Here we came to the end of the trip. I hope that these wonderful days will remain in your mind for a long time.
Recommendations of Books
This book portrays Monet's work and vast influence in its historical perspective as it charts his life and career. Over 300 paintings illustrate his artistic experiments as well as his most successful works.
Claude Monet : 1840-1926 (Big Art Series)
Published on the occasion of the most comprehensive retrospective yet mounted of Monet's work, this catalog is stocked with more than 200 superb color reproductions and a 70-page illustrated chronology. They have also included reproductions of many significant paintings unavailable for loan to the museum, making this volume the most up-to-date and complete guide to Monet's superlative oeuvre, hence its status as a Book-of-the-Month Club title.
Claude Monet : Life and Art
This lavishly illustrated book presents the first complete overview of the life, art, and times of the quintessential Impressionist. Tucker, one of our foremost authorities on Monet, offers a striking new view of the artist, showing him to be a far more complicated figure than previously acknowledged, fiercely competitive and ambitious, as well as sensitive and inventive.