Monet at the New York Botanical Garden

Posted by Bert on Mar 25, 2013 4:30:16 AM

Monet’s Garden, Based on a black-and-white photo, 1922.

Lifetime lovers of Claude Monet's paintings will be thrilled, no doubt, by the New York Botanical Garden's new "Monet Garden" exhibit—a horticultural masterpiece that invites observers to step right inside his famous Impressionist images of beautiful gardens vividly in bloom. The experts at The New York Botanical Garden have recreated many key elements of the artist’s famed gardens at Giverny in France, and the effect is truly transportive. Beautiful gardens were both Monet’s passion and inspiration, and the grounds around his home are considered by many to be some of the finest in the world. Monet was taken with the landscape of Giverny as he passed through it by train, and resolved to acquire a home there. It was here that Monet indulged his passion for gardening, cultivating a vast, colorful landscape full of climbing wisteria and serene water lilies.

Claude Monet is widely regarded as the master, and perhaps the creator, of Impressionism, a style of art that values one’s view of the world over accurate representation of the world itself. His plein-air landscapes show a startlingly vivid, colorful, and soft-edged world rippling in the natural light. His personal garden was no less resplendent – at once both stunningly natural and more densely filled with color than any spray of wildflowers.

net in front of his paintings in his studios, 1920 Gelatin silver print by Henri Manuel (1874-1947)

He cultivated in his garden the varied, pulsating colors he loved to paint – and then he painted them, over and over again. Perusing Monet’s later masterpieces one finds time and again, images taken directly from his gardens at Giverny. It is only natural then that patrons of the Botanical Garden feel themselves whisked away to the French countryside as they wander through the wonderful recreations of scenes from Monet’s garden and work. The garden exhibit is a veritable cornucopia of imagery lifted directly from the master impressionist’s canvases and brought to life by capable staff at The New York Botanical Garden.

The exhibition itself is three-fold: first, there is the seasonal, ever-changing Monet garden in the conservatory; second, two seminal Monet paintings (one of which has never been displayed in the US before) are on display in the Garden’s

Monet in front of his house at Giverny, 1921. Photo: Patrice Schmidt

Rondina Gallery. Finally, in the Ross Gallery there are beautiful, high-quality photographs of Monet’s own gardens in Giverny, the inspiration for the exhibition There are also films, poetry readings, chamber music performances, and more – the NYBG has pulled out all the stops for this once in a lifetime exhibition. The jewel in the crown is a series of “Monet Evenings” featuring cocktails, live music, and of course the opportunity to bask in the beauty of the garden. Information about all these events in available online at or by calling the New York Botanical Garden at 718-817-8700. The exhibition ends on the twenty-first of October, so seize the opportunity to step into an Impressionist masterpiece before it’s too late!

"Monet Garden" closed October, 21, 2012, but visit for information on current exhibitions and events.

A re-creation of the gardens of Giverny, Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen


Topics: Museums, Editorial, featured, new york botanical garden, monet

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