If you are coming to Normandy this summer and plan a stop at Giverny, then I urge you to step into the Impressionist museum to admire the exhibition of paintings by Gustave Caillebotte, painter and gardener
Sadly he died at a very young age, but during his short life he was close friends with Claude Monet, with whom he shared a love of gardening as well as a passion for painting. There are records of their correspondence, where they discuss watering systems for their respective gardens, or the merits of a greenhouse. Very practical details that illustrate their love of the garden.
In the exhibition I was beguiled by his beautiful flowers , mostly painted in his house at Petit Gennevilliers, but also by his surprisingly modern renderings of daily life in Paris. He captured moments of ordinary life, often from an overhead point of view, such as the pavement scene no doubt observed from a balcony.
As well as his talent for art and for horticulture, he also had the reputation of being a very kind and generous man, and his gentle colour palette seems to reflect that very well
As we visited Giverny this afternoon, it was pouring with rain, the vegetation all around was lush and green, and this beautiful exhibition provided the perfect refuge, and seemed to fit seamlessly with the lush gardens outside.
And you may be interested to know that the museum wishes to purchase one of Caillebotte’s unfinished works, ‘Parterre de Marguerites’. This painting is actually four canvases, originally intended for the artist’s own dining room, and it would make a wonderful addition to the museum’s permanent collection.
If you think you would like to make a contribution to this purchase, you can read more about the project HERE