December 26, 2015
When Claude Monet, the famed French painter, lived in his Normandy farmhouse in Giverny, his personal art collection was arranged on the walls of his upstairs bedroom. For the painter, the views of his self-created and adored garden from both salon and bedroom windows rivaled the masterpieces inside his home.
Bursting fireworks of color greeted the eye in the flower garden, which Monet called Le Clos Normand. Vivacious roses clambered across arches and pergolas, and Monet’s all-time favorite climber, the yellow Mermaid—raced up the walls to engulf his bedroom window and perfume the air with heady fragrance.
Monet was the Father of Impressionism, and after his death in 1926 the garden slowly disintegrated. His surviving son, Michel, who died in 1966, left both the property and the collection of art to the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
The memory and lasting works of Monet grace the garden through the Mermaid today. It is a rose fit for an everyday gardener as well as one of the greatest artists of all time.