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Icons of Art: Monet in Giverny

Imagine yourself a part of a Monet masterpiece as you step into his lovely gardens at Giverny.

The iconic water lilies, Japanese Bridge, weeping willows, purple wisteria, and green bamboo… all remain just as they were when Claude Monet captured them with his quick, tempered, impressionist brushstrokes – and just as inspiring. Even for those who’ve never strolled through them, the gardens instantly evoke a familiar feel and are surely a part of any art lover’s bucket list.

Claude Monet, born in Paris in 1840, is sometimes referred to as the Father of Impressionism. The very term ‘impressionism’ was even derived from the title of his painting Impressions, Soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise). Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas – these were the artists who ushered in a new avant-garde way of expression, changing the face of art forever, although at first they were widely mocked and criticized. Even the moniker ‘impressionism’ was originally meant as an insult by an art critic. Up until then, paintings were more traditional – with a seamless blend of colors and shadows. Monet used short, quick brushstrokes to illustrate movement and the play of light. He painted outdoors when artists at that time only used their studios. He was both a revolutionary and a visionary.

In 1883, Monet first came upon the pastoral town of Giverny, population 301. To an artist born and raised in the hustle and bustle of Paris, it was a quiet utopian paradise where he could move his family and draw inspiration for his paintings for much of the rest of his life. Once moving in, he quickly set about designing the home and garden. Each room in his house has a distinct color scheme, chosen by the master himself. He also kept hundreds of original Japanese woodblock prints, along with a print of “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” to inspire him.

And then, of course, is one of his signature masterpieces: his iconic garden, forever memorialized in his many paintings. Nowadays, a Monet water lilies painting could sell for upwards of eighty million dollars, but since the 1980s, the garden has been open to the public for all to enjoy. It was meticulously designed and tended to by Monet with the specific intention to paint the landscapes he created. Vibrant flowers, unique plants, and stunning landscaping are a thrill for horticulturists, landscapers, and architects alike along with art lovers and historians. Monet spent over forty years of his life painting in and around the garden. Indeed, the landscape is so bursting with color and flowers in full bloom – that it may almost be difficult to distinguish the gardens from the artwork.

And that is a thing of beauty.

With AmaWaterways' Impressions of the Seine & Paris and Paris & Normandy itineraries, visit where it feels as if you are walking through these icons of French art.

I'd love to book a river cruise for you that allows you to see all of this. Click on the link below to schedule a FREE consultation call.

20 ports of call only accessible via a river cruise

If you're looking for new cruise ports to explore – if you feel like you have seen every island in the Caribbean and stopped at every port in Mexico and the Mediterranean, these are 20 ports of call that you will never see on an ocean cruise ship, that you will only see on a river cruise.

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I am Ann Bartholomew, the owner of Simply River Cruises.

My love of travel comes from the many trips I've taken to other countries over the course of my life. I officially got my start in the travel industry 10 years ago. Since then, I've made it my life's mission to help others realize their dream vacations.

Planning a vacation yourself entails making decisions that can make or break the entire experience. After hours of researching, talking to travel partners, and planning an itinerary, you can still feel lost and confused. Your inexperience could lead you to a disheartening trip, which I want you to avoid.

With my expertise, you can bid farewell to the stress of travel planning and focus on the joy of your vacation. I will take your vision, customize the experience, and provide you with the perfect itinerary. All you have to do is make a booking and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Working in the travel industry gives me a unique understanding of your yearning to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. By giving each case my full attention and dedication, I have helped hundreds of clients fulfill their travel goals.


With over 10 years of experience, I have all the resources and premium partnerships needed to curate a unique and remarkable river cruise experience, allowing you to focus on the beauty of stunning destinations that leave you invigorated.

You want to travel, and I have the knowledge, skills, and connections to create a high-end vacation that goes above and beyond your expectations.

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