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Vive la France! Vive Impressionism! Renoir and Monet at their villas (Part 1)

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Summer is a wonderful season. Beautiful views are just asking to be painted, especially when the artistic life is very active in the countryside. The old masters purchased nice estates setting up their possessions with love and by their preferences. Let’s visit Claude Monet’s and Auguste Renoir’s villas; we knew these places by pictures and now they have become museums and we have a chance to see them with our own eyes and compare with their painted images.
A villa means a calm, placid and respectful lifestyle; in 1890 Renoir at last got married to Aline Charigot. He got acquainted with this lady 10 years ago, she was a seamstress that time and at the moment of their wedding they already had their five-year-old son Pierre. Then two other sons were born, Jean and Claude (Coco by nickname whom we could see in Renoir’s paintings).

Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Jean at Drawing
By that time Renoir was a recognized artist; he was ranked as one of the leading artists in France and was the Knight of the Legion of Honor; he became famous! Though, his health was not perfect; in 1897 he fell down from the bicycle and broke his right hand and all the rest of his life he suffered of rheumatism as the result. So, because of his disease and difficulties of the city life Renoir decided to buy a country house somewhere in a free from storms placid province. On June 28, 1907 he began his countryside life on the Colette villa in the farm Cagnes-sur-Mer between Cannes and Nice. The purchase included the land of 2.5 hectares, old olive trees (we saw them in his paintings) and a house (now it is a souvenir shop). Later Renoir built a large house, furnished it and lived there 11 years creating his artworks till his death.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Portrait of the artist's family
Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Portrait Alina Chariho
Nowadays this house is a museum with the authentic furniture in its 12 rooms, with artworks and sculptures; you could recognize the Bathers there. (By the way, only copies survived in the Monet’s villa). The easels and brushes of Pierre — Auguste survived perfectly well. We can also find there a wheelchair; in 1912 the artist was paralyzed, however, the artist continued painting. Matisse, the closest Renoir’s friend dropped into the villa nearly each day. Once watching how difficult it was for the artist to paint Matisse he wondered why his friend was still involved in such a difficult work. The famous answer of Auguste Renoir was: "The pain passes, but the beauty remains."
This sentense is not so well known; he addressed to those who considered climbing uphill to the Colette estate wearisome: "Maybe climbing uphill is not so comfortable but those who really love me will climb uphill to see me. At the same time this steep path can help me to avoid meeting idlers". By no means we will miss our chance to visit the museum when we reach the Cote d'-Azur
The house museum of Auguste Renoir
19, chemin des Collettes, Cagnes sur Mer, Nice, France
04 93 20 61 07

The Museum of Modern Art is located in Château Grimaldi in the town Cagnes-sur-Mer offering the artworks by Renoir, Chagall, Matisse and many other artists.

Giverny with blossoming flowers by Claude Monet: water lilies and more!

Claude Oscar Monet’s (1840−1926) country estate in the village in Upper Normandy first of all is known for its beautiful and famous garden. "Water lilies are blossoming there", — sang Athos a musketeer, a character in the well known Russian movie. We can say lilies and more. Everywhere a visitor could view the landscapes by the founder of Impressionism seemed to come alive who created his out of doors studio of the pond with water lilies, shady alleys, lawns and flower beds.
Claude Monet with his second wife Alice Hoschedé and their children moved to Giverny to a long house with green shutters and pink front of the building and had lived there 43 years.
The first landscape
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design of the owner was to substitute conifers for roses, fruit trees for sakuras and get rid of the vegetable garden.
Gloxinias, tulips, Indian cresses, sunflowers, dahlias and flower-de-luces were his colormap.
Those who prefer artworks to the variety of the plant kingdom, could be upset: the paintings decorating the walls of the studio are not authentic; they are copies just for decoration. If you wanted to view the original artworks you would go to the museums famous for their exhibitions of Monet; they are the Musée Marmottan Monet and The Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
In the vicinity of the estate if you are lucky you can find the bronze bust of the artist, the Museum of Impressionism and the church where the artist and his family members were buried.
Claude Monet. Japanese Bridge (Water Lily Pond, Symphony in Pink)
Claude Monet. White Water Lilies
Address: 7, Chemin Blanche Hoschede Monet, GIVERNY
Telephone number: +33 2 32 51 28 22
The way you can get there: the Museum is within walking distance of the railway station or you can get there by bus.


Yana Sasina and Olga Potehina
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