We had set the date to visit Monet’s garden well ahead, in the hope that the weather would be more promising. It turned out to be cool and occasionally sunny but mostly overcast.
The drive from Paris takes about 1 ½ hours and we went directly to the parking lot next to the Musée des Impressionismes, which is an offshoot of the Orsay Museum today and holds special exhibitions. Signac was on the programme.
We bought our combined tickets for the museum and gardens, thus avoiding the inevitable queue to the gardens and house, and set off for through the village to the gardens, going in by the special “group” entrance down a side street. You can also jump the queue at the main entrance which takes you through the shop.
Each season has different flowers. In my last post on Monet’s garden, it was July, when the famous nympheas are in bloom. This time, there was wisteria over the famous green bridge, pansies, irises, gillyflowers, clematis and columbines in every size and colour imaginable.
I just love columbines (aquilega) and we don’t have any in our garden in Blois at all so I’m looking forward to choosing several different varieties.
For once, we didn’t get distracted by the shop on the way out. There are so many wonderful things to buy! Don’t you just love the Monet silk scarf a friend gave me for my 60th birthday?
We walked back through the little town of Giverny with it’s charming houses and many restaurants to the museum where we were able to visit the Signac exhibition without jostling with the crowds we would have experienced in Paris.
We just had to keep away from one of the very loud guide whose comments were hardly worth listening to. Who really cares that Signac painted a cliff path whose existence can still be traced today? I was much more interested to hear another guide taking about the importance of picture frames particularly as we agonised over the right frame recently for our John Modesitt painting.
Signac is what is known as a neo-impressionst. He started painting in the early 1880s. He and Seurat developed the pointillist style. Signac painted a lot of coastal Mediterranean scenes (St Tropez, Collioure, Avignon) as well as the industrial areas of Paris, often in muted blues.
The exhibition is on until 2nd July, so if you’re planning a visit to Giverny, make sure you combine the two.
How to get to Giverny : http://giverny.org/transpor/