Paris Update Art Notes
MONET SLEPT HERE
Monet’s bedroom before and after the restoration.
Even in their wildest dreams, most art lovers can’t imagine sleeping surrounded by the works of Cézanne, Manet, Signac, Caillebotte, Morisot, Jongkind, Boudin, Delacroix and other great 19th-century painters. Such works were the last thing Claude Monet feasted his eyes on every night before he nodded off, and now the bedroom in the house in Giverny where he lived for 43 years and tended his famous garden has been restored. To give us an accurate idea of the wealth of art that once hung in the room and the adjoining bathroom, copies of the paintings have been made (which, alas, lack the power of the originals) and hung where they were during the master’s life. Some original pieces of furniture – including an imposing Louis XV/XVI secretary – have also been restored. The most humble piece in the room is Monet’s surprisingly small bed, from which he could see his garden when he awoke at dawn, before taking a cold bath. Head gardener James Priest, an Englishman, and his 10 assistants continue to improve the grounds so that “visitors will feel like they are in a painting by Monet.” Heidi Ellison