‘The Artist’s Garden at Giverny’

Claude Monet, 1900, The Artist's Garden at Giverny. Oil on canvas, 89.5 x 92.1 cm. © Yale University Art Gallery
Claude Monet, 1900, The Artist’s Garden at Giverny. Oil on canvas, 89.5 x 92.1 cm. © Yale University Art Gallery

Claude Monet’s garden today is a delight to visit throughout the period it is open to the public (April to October). In May, one of these delights is the irises – iris germanica. When I recently visited the gardens at dusk when they were open to the public (free of charge) as part of the Europe-wide Nuits des Musées initiative, the paths lined with iridescent irises in full bloom reminded me of ‘The Artist’s Garden at Giverny‘ (above).

What I find quite striking on this particular canvas, painted in 1900, are the sinewy tree trunks that almost mimic the undulations you see in the way in which Monet painted the flow of the irises’ long blade-like leaves. And the paths lined with irises is something you can still see in the garden today when these flowers are in bloom. Although as is clear in my photographs below, the irises are kept in check a bit more today that they appear to have been in Monet’s time.

The painting is part of the Collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon B.A. (1929) at the University of Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut (USA). The gallery has a number of impressionist and post impressionist paintings in their holdings, including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and others by Claude Monet. Visit the gallery’s website >>

The Artist’s Garden at Giverny is currently being exhibited as part of the Monet’s Garden show at the New York Botanical Gardens.

Irises in full bloom line a path alongside the 'grand allée'.

Irises in Monet's Garden at dusk.

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