“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”
The Seine, rising from Source-Seine, 30 kilometres northwest of Dijon in north-eastern France, is one of the most important waterways within the Paris Basin. It flows 776 kilometres to the English Channel at Le Havre. The city of Paris boasts 37 bridges that span the Seine, including the celebrated Pont Louis-Philippe and the ancient Pont Neuf. Outside Paris, the Pont de Normandie, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges, links Le Havre to Honfleur, known for a picturesque port beloved by the Impressionist painters: Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind.
Claude Monet chose the village of Giverny, which is positioned on the right bank of the River Seine where the river Epte meets the Seine, to create his most beautiful masterpiece. The sighting occurred quite by happenstance when Monet looked out a train window on a trip between Vernon and Gasny. It was April 1883, the time of rebirth and transition. It had been four years since the passing of his young wife, Camille who has succumbed to tuberculosis, September 1879 at the age of thirty-two. Grief stricken, Monet turned to his art for consolation. From the vantage point of a train, he knew, at first glance, where he would live and paint for the rest of his life. He created his dreams and gave us the vision of beauty that came from a garden by the River Seine.
Today marks Claude Monet’s 153rd birthday.
“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”