The things you can see here are  of course the house and gardens of Claude Monet.  The Impressionists museum showing the work of the painters of Giverny (before called the American center); The former Hôtel Baudy and the rosary where many of these painters came together.  the Church of Sainte Radegonde ,and the stone of Sainte Radegonde by the Church.

A wonderful site with information in English by an association Givernet here: Assoc Giverny information

The Claude Monet Foundation for the house gardens: Fondation Claude Monet

The region of Normandy tourist office on Giverny: Normandy tourist office on Giverny

Vernon Giverny assoc for information in English: Vernon Giverny info tourism

Tourist office of the Department Eure on Giverny: Eure department tourist office on Giverny

In my blog post above there is a bit on La Roche Guyon, (with photos) in Val d’Oise dept 95 region of île de France, and on my way to Giverny. Worth a detour for the castle and the casements, the general headquarters of Rommel nazi Germany  after the invasion of Normandy. The castle is under renovation opening this year; I have more in my blog post above and  more here: Chateau Roche Guyon

Now, lets get to the reason I write this post and update you on Giverny; Claude Monet! I am sure you know him, the whole world knows him. My favorite painter.

secrets d’histoire story on Monet:

The story tells of the relationship of Alice Hoschedé and Claude Monet or the love in impressionism. The first wife of Claude Monet, Camille is sick and Alice married to his best friend comes to help. The first baby of Camille and Claude Monet is born and Alice helps out. They lived in the house at Vetheuil with Ernest Hoschedé, Alice, and the Monet. They have 8 children with them, 6 with the Hoschedé and 2 with the Monet. Not too far into this ménage à quatre! Ernest leave for Paris not able to withstand the ins and outs of the house. It is said that behind each great men there is a greater women :J You can see the portrait of Claude Monet done by Auguste Renoir in 1875 at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

There is ,also a portrait of Alice Hoschedé done by Monet in 1881. You can still go by the Castle of Rottembourg where Ernest and Alice Hoschedé lived before the ménage à quatre! It is in the town of Montgeron, Essonne dept 91 region of ile de France;   here is more info:

It is the encounter at this castle that created first the love between Claude and Alice. In 1880, he had painted her at the Parc Monceau in Paris. Alice had a character stronger than Camille and at only 32 yrs old has some extra weight been already with five children. The union with Ernest Hoschedé came because he buys a portrait from Claude Monet called the Soleil levant or sunrise done in 1872-73 over the port of Le Havre; Ernest purchased it in 1874 for 800 francs! It was called later Impression possibly given name to the movement that later follow, and eventually change again to soleil couchant or sunset until 1965 when a study shows Monet really meant the sunrise, it was stolen in 1985, and finally given to the Musée Marmottan-Monet of Paris in 1990.

During this early life , Camille lived in an apartment without heating in Argenteuil , dept 95 Val d’Oise, and love lasts 35 years between her and Claude. There is a painting by Edourd Manet of 1874 La Famille Monet dans le jardin à Argenteuil.   Alice was invited as knowing that her husband had ruined her and left for Paris, she was in love with Claude and could not refuse coming to live with his family in Vetheuil part of the parc naturel regional du Vexin Français in Val d’Oise dept 95. Camille is sick and died of cancer of the uterus at 32 yrs old, Alice was there to help her until her last breath in her arms. She therefore, burned all clothings or belonging of Camille and stays the only women of Claude Monet.

The winter of 1879-80 is hard with minus 25 degrees Celsius and the Seine on ice .Monet just makes his first real money with the work Le Debacle painted in 1880 and sold for 1500 francs.Alice at home is in charge of all including 8 children!   She becomes jealous because Monet is always out away from home, to Vernon, Rouen, Pourville, Dieppe and Etretat etc. They moved to a house in Poissy (dept 78 Yvelines) changing nothing she demand that he writes to her each evening! He continue to travel, in Normandy, Bordighera in Italy, and Belle-île-en-Mer in the Morbihan Breton!   Monet is unstable sometimes destroying his portraits with knives, changes to jokes or stress according to his many friends including Cézanne. He paints Bordighera several portraits while visiting there the one famous is call Bordighera from 1884. While Claude Monet is at Belle-île-en-Mer he writes 65 letters to Alice and paints 30 portraits until their marriage. The letters were burned by Claude Monet on the wish of Alice at her death.

In 1883, he makes his biggest decision purchasing a house in Giverny, he is already 43 yrs old. Alice is happy the children are well here. However, Ernest comes back from Paris and has a party with Alice to celebrate the 40th birthday! The children do not see well the sharing of love life in the house, and Martha the oldest daughter never arrived to be married maybe due to the situation in the family, and by January 1886 ,Alice threatens to leave Claude. Claude Monet leaves the house first to Etretat ,do not paint but writes letters to Alice. Becomes depressive do not want to paint, but Alice is in charge even if always jealous. The situation continues with Claude leaving for trips and Ernest coming for visits to Alice for several years!

By 1891 Ernest becomes very ill, and again it is Alice that takes care of him as she had done for Camille, the first wife of Monet. Ernest Hoschedé is buried at Giverny too. Finally ,in July 16, 1892, Alice became officially the wife of Claude Monet. Angélique Emilie Alice Raingo is her real long name. Ten days later her daughter Suzanne married Theodore Butler a young American painter in town. In 1897, Blanche daughter of Alice and Ernest married Jean, the son of Claude and Camille. Suzanne died at 30 yrs old leaving two kids orphan and Alice becomes ill. Depression sets in.

She accompanied Claude Monet on his trips to London 1899, Spain at Madrid in 1904 that they go by Panhard because Claude Monet was a passionate for the automobile. Finally , go to Venice in 1908, and he paints a lot here fascinated by the water coming back with about 40 portraits. It is returning from Venice that Alice begins to show her illness of blood and bone cancer ; a few months later on May 19 1911 at age 67 she died.

At 71 yrs old Claude Monet goes to a period of mourning, and depression gets him to destroy some portraits, when he lost his mother at 16 ,how can he survived alone in the last part of his life. He lost his son Jean in 1914 due to the great war or WWI. His daughter in law Blanche helps him at 50 yrs old and widowed as well becomes the blue angel for Claude Monet. Even with his catarat he paints his masterpiece Les Nymphéas in 19 panels and offered to France. He died December 5, 1926 in the arms of his friend Georges Clemenceau; on his burial the coffin in black cover was removed no, not black for Monet and was replaced by a flowery cloth.

In the shadows of the small Church of Sainte Radegonde of Giverny Claude Monet joins Alice, his son Jean, Suzanne, and Ernest!! Six months later, the musée Claude Monet opened and France salutes one of its greatest artists. In 31 years Claude Monet painted 250 portraits of the Nymphéas. Inside of the former Hôtel Baudy, restaurant museum a place visited by Cézanne, Renoir, Sisley, Rodin,and Monet there is a reconstruction of his painting shop.

There, an extraordiany men living ahead of his time,and even with blurry eyes had the best view of us all. The great Claude Monet, he still amazes me on his paintings and stories. Hope you like this one as I did.