Le Jardin D’Eau
In 1893, ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighboring his property on the other side of the railway. It was crossed by a small brook, the Ru, which is a diversion of the Epte, a tributary of the Seine River. Even though his peasant neighbors were opposed, Monet had the first small pond dug with the support of the prefecture. His neighbors were afraid that his strange plants would poison the water.
Later, the pond would be enlarged to its current size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and curves. It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he avidly collected.
In this water garden you will find the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all the famous nympheas which bloom all summer long. The pond and the surrounding vegetation form an enclosure separated from the surrounding countryside.
Never before had a painter so shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. And so he created his works twice. Monet would find his inspiration in this water garden for more than twenty years. After the Japanese bridge series, he would devote himself to the giant decorations of the Orangerie.
Always looking for mist and transparencies, Monet would dedicate himself less to flowers than to reflections in water, a kind of inverted world transfigured by the liquid element.
If you have any extra time on your next trip to Paris, you really owe it to yourself to take a couple of days and visit Giverny. Until you make your trip, enjoy some pictures from ours.