Visit Claude Monet’s House at Argenteuil

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Visit Claude Monet’s House at Argenteuil
If you’re a Claude Monet fan, you’ve probably visited Giverny. But did you know that another house where the artist lived, much closer to central Paris, has recently opened as a museum after more than 10 years of renovation work? A trip to Argenteuil, to see the Maison Impressioniste, makes an interesting half day out and it’s easy to do. Just take a 10-minute ride on a Line J train from the Gare Saint Lazare, get off at Argenteuil, turn left out of the station and walk two minutes. Then, on your right at number 21, you’ll see a charming pink house with green shutters whose wall welcomes you in with the wording “Bienvenue à la Maison Impressioniste.” Bienvenue à la Maison Impressioniste. Photo credit: Marian Jones The artist first came to Argenteuil in 1871, newly back in France after a year of exile in England during the turbulent Paris Commune. He settled first into another property – now disappeared – then moved with his family into this house, which his friend and fellow painter Édouard Manet, who was living nearby, helped him find. Claude Monet lived in Argenteuil until early 1878 and his time here was prolific. Some 259 of his paintings were completed in five years from 1872, with 150 of them having the house, the little town, the river or the surrounding countryside as their subject matter. As soon as you enter the house, you get a sense of Monet and the life he lived here. None of the furniture on display was his, but care has been taken to select authentic pieces from the 1870s, such as the free-standing tiled stove in one corner, the oil lamps and the wooden cupboards. The atmosphere of the house and garden, coupled with digital copies of some of his works, give glimpses of the life enjoyed here by Monet, his wife Camille and their older son Jean who was about seven years old when the family moved in. “Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil” by Claude Monet. Wikimedia commons A number of Monet’s well-known paintings show the garden at Argenteuil and you catch a first glimpse of it though the ground-floor windows. Only about half the original garden remains, but it has been carefully planted to recall the central circular flower bed, the shady woodland area and the trellised wall which were all features when the Monets lived here. We know the artist used to set his easel up in the garden and that he invited his friend Édouard Manet to visit him here and do the same.
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Lead photo credit : Maison Impressionniste / Claude Monet Argenteuil. Photo credit: Marian Jones

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Recently retired from teaching Modern Languages (French and German), Marian now has time to develop her interests in travel and European culture and history. She will be in Paris as often as she can, visiting places old and new, finding out their stories and writing it all up as soon as she gets home. Marian also runs the weekly podcast series, City Breaks, offering in-depth coverage of popular city break destinations, with lots of background history and cultural information. She has covered Paris in 22 episodes but looks forward to updating the series every now and then with some Paris Extra episodes.