There are many places in Paris to immerse yourself in Impressionism paintings, including the Musee D’Orsay, L’Orangerie, and the Marmotten Museum Monet. I could spend the day staring into the artworks of Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir, Pisarro, etc. However, viewing painting after painting isn’t as exciting as immersing yourself in the Impressionists’ world. I have designed a day to do this. Travel from Paris to Giverny and back to Paris to learn about the Impressionists’ lives, inspiration, and muses.
Giverny Museum of Impressionism
Located 70 kilometers from Paris (around 75 minutes of travel time), Giverny is an excellent day trip. In addition to Monet’s home, Giverny was an American artist’s colony in the 1880s and 1890s. Many American students went to art school in Paris. Once in Paris, they began to explore more rural towns where they could paint landscapes & gardens. The longest-lasting art colony was Giverny until 1914, the start of World War I. To learn more about these American Impressionist painters, visit the Giverny Museum of Impressionism. This museum is a partnership with the Musee D’Orsay, The Monet Foundation, and the Marmottan Museum. We found the museum a fascinating look into the lives of the artists living in Giverny while at the same time enjoying the art displayed and the beautiful gardens. The museum’s audio narration included many details of the artist colony, right down to dating stories and marriages. This museum is a perfect foundation to understand the artists and the times they lived. Don’t forget to visit their beautiful garden!
Lunch with the Impressionists
For lunch, you can dine at the Hotel Baudy. L’Ancien Hôtel Baudy is where the impressionist artists hung out, and their art still hangs on walls! They often traded art for room and board. As you can see from the picture, you will feel like it is the 1890’s when you are there, and you can view the studio where they painted.
Claude Monet House & Gardens
Now that you are almost a Giverny resident, it is time to visit Monet’s house and garden. By this time of day, most of the group tours will have left, giving you ample space to explore the gardens on your own. You feel like you have stepped into Monet’s paintings, the gardens are exquisite. Expect to stay about two hours while you immerse yourself in the beauty. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so please enjoy!
Marmottan Museum Monet
Once you have had your fill of Monet’s house and gardens, it is time to return to Paris for a beautiful treat. The Marmottan Museum Monet is a magnificent townhouse with Empire-style decor. It hosts the world’s leading collection of works by Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot. On our last visit, we arrived late in the day, about an hour before closing. While the house and the art were beautiful, the special treat was in the basement! In the basement of the Marmottan are Monet’s paintings. When you arrive later in the day, it is possible to find yourself one of the ONLY ones in the basement, like on our last visit. Imagine having a private viewing of Monet’s works! Since you were just in Monet’s gardens, you can genuinely have a moving moment viewing his many paintings and seeing them through his eyes. The best immersion in Impressionism for me!
You can easily get to Giverny by train or a rental car. Suppose you don’t want the hassle of navigation or public transportation schedules. In that case, I can arrange a private tour for you to make this a splendid day of beauty and relaxation.