Oct 28th, 2018, 08:44 PM

Exploring Paris for Monet Lovers

By Alejandra Lopez
"Impressionist Sunrise" by Claude Monet, the painting that gave the name and begginning to Impressionism. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez
Trace the steps of the founder of Impressionism from his birth up to today.

Claude Monet is the founder of one of the most famous and recognized artistic movements. Still, until today, he is one of the most famous French painters. He was very passionate about painting in the plein air style which is French for outside, and he founded the Impressionist movement with his painting "Impressionist Sunrise". As the word indicates, Impressionism was the real impressions artists transmitted in their art by capturing fleeting movements with thick brush strokes and bold colors.   

To this day, we can see the mark Monet's work has left on the world. Currently and up to January 2019, Zao Wu-Ki is exhibiting his work in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris at the Palais de Tokyo. Here he makes a tribute to Monet by naming a painting as "Hommage a Claude Monet" and referencing it to his pieces, but also incorporating the modern art aspects of his works. 

"Hommage à Claude Monet" by Zao Wou-Ki. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez. 

This is just the beginning of all Paris has to offer for Monet lovers. 

The Musee Marmotan Monet houses the biggest collection of Monet's art in the world. His son, Michel Monet, donated his collection that he inherited through his father to this museum. Located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, this is a destination you cannot miss out on if you are truly a fan. 

Monet's Nympheas or Water lilies on display at the Musee Marmotan. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez 

The Musee d'Orsay houses some other mesmerizing paintings by this icon, but in general, has so many other paintings by other impressionists that will leave you speechless. This museum is a former train station so it is huge. If you know impressionism and Monet is what you want, head to the last floor by the clock for one of the greatest impressionist collections in the world which has Monet as a main character. 

"Argenteuil" by Claude Monet, hanging at the Musee d'Orsay. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez. 

The Musee de l'Orangerie is an easy walk from the Musee d'Orsay and houses a collection of eight massive sized paintings of his water lily garden from his house in Giverny. He designed two rooms, each with four paintings or almost murals, that would give the audience a 360-degree immersive experience into his gardens. He donated these paintings after WWI because he wanted to create a peaceful space for people. The Nympheas are placed in order from sunrise to sunset around both rooms, concentrating on the effect nature has on different times of the day. 

One of the eight Nympheas pieces at the Musee d'Orangerie. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez 

Speaking of Giverny, if you have the time, definitely set an afternoon apart to get out of the city and actually emerge yourself into Monet's world. Just 45 minutes outside of Paris, it was where this painter spent the last years of his life. Here, you can tour the famous gardens he painted so much on and his house where a collection of paintings is housed. 

Monet's gardens at Giverny. Image credit: Alejandra Lopez 

Monet lived for several years in Paris, so it is interesting to see the places he drew in real life. You can go to the Gare Saint Lazare and see the place where Monet learned so much about his exploration of light. Also, in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, you can experience the Parc Monceau and explore this elegant park where he loved to paint in plein air style. 

Parc Monceau in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez