NY garden offers living impression of MonetClaude Monet’s beloved flower and water gardens in the north of France are world famous. But for those unable to visit the artist’s iconic home, a trip to the Bronx over the next several months will offer a taste of Monet’s indisputably radiant living masterpiece.
“Monet’s Garden” at the New York Botanical Garden evokes Monet’s lush garden at Giverny, the impressionist’s home from 1883 until his death in 1926.
A passionate gardener who once declared, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers,” Monet found endless inspiration from his exuberant gardens. The water garden alone accounts for about 250 paintings, including a series of monumental canvases that led to his Grandes Decorations at the Musee de d’Orangeries in Paris. His flower garden is featured in at least 40 works.
The exhibition, which runs through Oct. 21, will feature a seasonally changing display of flora, currently a spring kaleidoscope of poppies, roses, foxgloves, irises and delphiniums inside the botanical garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservancy. It also includes two scarcely seen garden-inspired paintings, Monet’s wooden palette, rare photos of Monet in his garden and 30 photographs of Giverny by Elizabeth Murray, who has recorded Monet’s flower oasis for 25 years. These are all located at the botanical garden’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.
Monet, was constantly planting, replanting and redesigning his gardens. He would remove water lilies in the winter then replant them in the spring and summer.
“What’s wonderful is to think of Monet literally as planting a still life because it is in the end the arrangement of those water lilies that he paints in his pictures. He is constructing his painting, at least part of his painting, as he replants the pond,” said the exhibition curator, Monet scholar Paul Hayes Tucker.