Ponds, Pads and Paintings

Monet was famous and going blind from cataracts when he came up with the idea of creating a set of huge paintings inspired by his “water garden”. He envisioned a space where the harried urbanite could go to be surrounded by tranquility.

Some say that the conversion of an old greenhouse in the Tuileries Garden that had once housed orange trees into a gallery to the paintings was the first “art installation”.

Monet worked on his Grandes Décorations from 1909 until his death in 1926. He never saw then installed in the Orangerie, however, because he died a year before the exhibition opened.

First, let’s have a look at the ponds in Giverny.

Now, the paintings. Or at least parts of them. Because the works are so large and the two oval rooms relatively small, it’s not possible to really capture the full experience.

The paintings are intended to reflect different moods and times of day. One, for example, is entitled “Morning” another “Clouds”. I think you can see the red sun reflected in the water in “Sunset”.

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