"My most beautiful work of art is my garden"
|Bridge over a pond of Water lilies , 1899|
The Monet exhibit at The New York Botanical Gardens is a feast for the senses. It is as close to Giverny as I have gotten. The NYBG recreated the famous waterlily pond and Monet's perennial garden (to the best of their ability) that so inspired Claude Monet's most well known landscapes.
Monet's flower gardens have figured into approximately 40 of his works of art ~ his water garden, the centerpiece of the property, to no fewer than 250 of his known 2,500 paintings.
It was interestingly curated. We learn about Giverny; the time, the toil, and what it took to build and grow the gardens; then how it influenced his art ~ or did his art then influence his gardens, the combinations, and the plantings?
Monet said he owed becoming a great painter to his flowers.
|Nympheas (Waterlilies) 1915|
If you want to learn more about waterlilies text NYBG waterlily to 56512 for gardening tips. I liked the interactivity to the exhibit. I downloaded the free app from iTunes; it was a nice marriage of info between the paintings and the gardens, along with the history of Giverny. I walked away with a really good understanding of the importance the flowers played inspiring one of the greatest impressionistic artists of all times.
Monet chose flowers that complemented the pink stucco exterior of the home at Giverny. The vines climbing up the walls and the green shutters were thoughtfully chosen to compliment that facade.
|Garden Path at Giverny, 1902|
The alée pathway, was a unique combination of 18th C. English landscape design: planting profusions of flowers in interesting combinations, and the stricter 17th C. French practice similar to André Le Nôtre where symmetry reigns. Deep colors were planted at the front of the beds and they got progressively lighter in an effort to create depth. Interestingly, the water garden was cultivated in the opposite way. It has strong Asian influences and appears to spring naturally from the earth.
|Young Girl in the garden in Giverny, 1888|
"Don't you find that one does better when all alone with nature?
I myself am convinced of it"
~ C. Monet
The exhibit is running through October. I may have to go back to see the fall colors as well. Monet always made sure there was interesting color no matter the season. I tried that, but failed. My garden seems to have two colors, green and brown.