In 1986, we were lucky enough to see the traveling exhibition of French Impressionist works at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in D.C. It was essentially eight mini-exhibitions, with each new NGA gallery devoted to one of the Parisian shows of the 1880s. We were particularly taken by the works of Monet and Seurat.

Monet, early Spring at Giverny

Over the years as gardening increasingly captured our interest, and especially Ikebana where Janet was concerned, we started thinking seriously about a visit to Giverny, the garden home and studios of Monet just outside Vernon. It only took 31 years to get there.

What follows is a largely un-captioned celebration of color and remembrance. While Monet lived on the edge of starvation in his early years (as most impressionists), he became wealthy after conceiving of “series” paintings which captured the changes brought to images by the changes in lighting as morning passed to evening. Much of that wealth went into land acquisition and gardening, and oh, what a garden. As we arrived with Spring in France, the garden is between Winter wild and Summer spectacular. Should you get to Giverny, be sure to visit the Musee des Impressionnismes there. It may be one of the best in its size class anywhere.

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