Lunch with the Impressionists

In the small village of Giverny, France, a few hundred yards from Monet’s famous house and garden, one can still feel the atmosphere of the pastoral hamlet with glorious light that first captured Monet’s imagination as he glimpsed it from a passing train in 1888.


A stroll from the gardens down Rue Claude Monet brings you to a Giverny landmark: The Hotel Baudy.   The celebrated hotel, in great measure due to the industrious nature of its landlady, became an artistic and social center for a colony of impressionist painters, mainly from America, who were attracted to the area in the 1880s. Pissarro, Sargent, Cezanne all visited or worked in Giverny.

On the hotel’s shady front terrace you can dine alfresco under a canopy of lime trees, overlooking the countryside, and revel in the views that drew so many to the valley over a hundred years ago.

D and I had lunch here – salads and cheeses and onion soup with generously buttered, crusty bread. Simple country fare with exquisite flavor, enhanced by a playful breeze and gently shimmering light.

The hotel’s well-known rose garden is reached by going through the restaurant, its rooms themselves worth the journey to Giverny. The burnt ochres, faded blues, soft greens and sun-bleached yellows of the decor showcase the many paintings along every wall. You can almost hear the conversation and laughter and smell the whisky from those lively times as you make your way out the back doors.


Outside, you are enveloped in a quintessential French country garden filled with roses, shabby bistro chairs and blooming hydrangeas.

We were most taken with the artist’s studio, built during the hotel’s heyday.

The Impressionists were radicals, rule-breakers, outward thinkers, and were criticized and ridiculed before they were embraced and admired. They changed the way we look at the world, and we’ve been fascinated ever since.

I end with a grateful salute to dreamers and thinkers, the mad geniuses and imaginers who dare to see the world their way and are brave enough to challenge, inspire and encourage us to see it, too, and to think differently.


Wishing you an inspired weekend.

xo

– g

p. s. In case you missed it, there’s a new post over at Paris By Two. :)

53 comments


  • Dearest sweet g, this is such a beautiful place! I love everything about this place and it's beautiful! These photos made me smile! Have a lovely merry happy friday and love to you!

    October 6, 2011
  • how beautiful!!!! hope you find lots of inspiration here in Chile too!!

    October 6, 2011
  • Gorgeous photos. I would not want to leave there.

    October 6, 2011
  • So beautiful Georgianna! I love the Impressionists and their work at the D'Orsay is one of my favourite spots in Paris.

    Your salute to the dreamers and thinkers who are brave enough to challenge, inspire and encourage us to think differently, bring Steve Jobs to mind today. Beautiful, wise words.

    October 6, 2011
  • Dear Georgianna! You are back with awesome pictures as usual!!! So talanted! Have a nice week-end! O~

    October 6, 2011
  • Georgianna, those photos are so beautiful and they make me want to escape this big, smelly, chaotic and loud city and just sit there and admire all the stunning colours… A real visual treat and some very poignant words, thanks xo

    October 6, 2011
  • Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures! I like the outdoor ones the best. There's always a sense of "cosiness" in your art…it makes me feel nostalgic! :)

    xoxoxo

    p.s. 

    October 7, 2011
  • Que colores, es maravilloso!! Todos los rincones que enseñas tienen un encanto muy especil.
    Saludos.
    Veronica

    October 7, 2011
  • They are ALL beautiful, but I particularly LOVE the last image that is framed by the turquoise doors! Just gorgeous, G.! Hugs, Annette

    October 7, 2011
  • Thanks so much for taking us there Georgianna….
    Love those colours. I've just decided not to paint the whole house white. Don't missunderstand me, I love all white interiors when I see them but have now realized they are nothing for me, I wouldn't survive without colour.
    Looove the different Parisian doors on your other blog. Again, colour!!!
    Bye,
    Marian

    October 7, 2011
  • Wonderful posting! I enjoyed reading as well as looking at it! I've been longing to visit the area for several years due to my readings and love both for the impressionists and the era. Your photos only make my desire stronger! Thanks, dear Georgianna!!!

    October 7, 2011
  • These are such amazing shots.. I could only dream of traveling somewhere like this.. Thanks so much for sharing them with us…

    I do hope you have a happy weekend..

    Hugs, Linda

    October 7, 2011
  • Dear Georgianna, your photos are ever so inspiring ! All those hollyhocks – in front of the brittle walls – so beautiful ! Just what the sould needs to see once the October storms blow and the rain trickles on the windows…..
    kind regards, Martina

    October 7, 2011
  • Hello G
    These pictures are a delight and I'm a dreamer of a different sort; dreaming of being where you take us on these photo journeys. The most inspiring thing is for me to use more colour everywhere, the hues of blue are calling.
    I was taking in the red and white brick, hollyhocks in the first photo and then…aw, look at the cute dog, and the rest was forgotten :-)
    Judith

    October 7, 2011
  • So much beauty! It looks so peaceful and tranquil too … thanks for sharing!

    Have a lovely weekend! xo

    October 7, 2011
  • oh dear…your words are always so touching…like i wrote in my post yesterday…there are these special moments every day…today i feel it here…you let me "fly to the moon"…with your amazing and so beautiful shots…its so special to know someone like you and be a little part in your creatives adventures…thanks to be always here with me, dear friend…and i hope we will see us someday in real…have a lovley creative and cozy weekend, too…and take care…hugs…i…

    October 7, 2011
  • These photos of France are breathtaking. I love the bright, light exposure. Is this something you do in-camera or in post? If you don't want to divulge your secrets, I understand. Your blog posts are so inspirational to me.

    October 7, 2011
  • Oh my goodness, what a beautiful place. I'm certain I would never want to leave. Your photos are so, so gorgeous, Georgianna. I hate to be nosy, but on the photos third from the bottom, the ones of the shutter and the bistro chair, are you using a texture? I like how the edges have a blurry, dreamy feel. Hope you have a great weekend :)

    October 7, 2011
  • So lovely, as usual. The Hotel must love seeing having the place showcased like this! xo

    October 7, 2011
  • what a fabulous looking place, I'm loving all the turquoise!

    October 7, 2011
  • Wow, this place is totally amazing! I am drooling all over your beautiful photos. Just gorgeous, I would love to visit one day! :D

    October 7, 2011
  • Outstanding photography, lovely places!
    I'm typing on my iPad…but i don't know how to do the little apple icon.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    October 7, 2011
  • Oh what gorgeous pictures again. Don't you just love that turquoise on all the wooden shutters of the French houses?! Gorgeous!!! I love your point of view on the hollyhocks as well! You know how to catch the typical French lifestyle! Have a wonderful weekend again ;-))
    hugs
    Ingeborg

    October 8, 2011
  • Beautiful post! hank you for sharing such a charming place and presenting it in your lovely words. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!
    Ada

    October 8, 2011
  • Beautiful photos. I was there this late spring, it is indeed the most glorious place. (-:

    October 8, 2011
  • So I'm not suprised that Monet could paint so beautifully… These are absolutely magical places and your pictures describe this beauty very well. Thank you for sharing it. :)

    October 8, 2011
  • Hi Everyone! Thank you very, very much! Really pleased you enjoyed this tour. If you can visit Giverny, you will adore it.

    To answer some questions, yes, the blue shutters and bistro chair photos have a texture on them, as well as some selective blurring and increased exposure to lighten them a bit. I know I am soo behind on doing some tutorials for you all. I have no problem divulging my "secrets" except for a time constraint currently. But it's still on the general plan.

    As for the Apple logo, on a Mac hold Option+Shift+k.

    Have a great weekend! xo

    October 8, 2011
  • Dear Georgianna,

    Your photographs of lunch with the Impressionists are so breathtakingly beautiful and dreamy.
    I want to go and pack my bag and go visit these gorgeous places, but will now be able to dream about it through your lovely photographs.
    Thanks for taking us along and hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

    Hugs
    Carolyn

    October 8, 2011
  • The colors are stunning, the photos terrific. Always intriguing how the colors of an artist's surroundings invade his/her work.

    October 8, 2011
  • What incredible and gorgeous photos Georgianna! Your blog entries are always such a feast for the eyes and the soul. ♥

    October 9, 2011
  • I am sure you hear this all the time G, but I want to add my voice…your blog is such an inspiration. Your photos take me places I will never be able to go and show me things I will never see…so thank you for your beautiful posts. It gives me such a thrill to come and read here.
    This post is particularly beautiful. I always love to see beautiful places and of course the hollyhocks growing along the buildings are so pretty. I am in awe of these photos my friend.
    sending hugs….

    October 9, 2011
  • Beautiful photography, dear G! The first photo is just great, interesting building with the brick mosaic and I love the studio, too! The pictures portraying windows are so real!!

    October 9, 2011
  • Your work is such an inspiration to me Georgianna.
    Each of these photographs is so very magical.
    Simply magnificent!

    October 9, 2011
  • such a pretty garden! would love to sip a cappuccino out there! xx

    October 9, 2011
  • ,lol, Thanks did not now how to get that. The impressionists remind me of myself, always going a different way then everyone else. Love the photos, inspirational. Take care my friend. hugs, Jen.

    October 9, 2011
  • Gorgeous, beautiful and magical!! I am so inspired by these colourful images today. Thank you Georgianna!! Wini xo

    October 9, 2011
  • Anonymous

    Gorgeous shots my friend! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!! It's so beautiful out on the porch right now – we have been out there every day and evening! Not getting much done inside – but have all winter for that, right? Have a good week!! t. xo

    October 10, 2011
  • Hi Georgiana, thanks for taking me on this fieldtrip back in time, so lovely and full of romantic art history! XO Christie

    October 10, 2011
  • I'm here via Lana's blog lanalou style. What a beautiful post!

    Greetings from Antwerp,
    (Latte)Lisa

    October 10, 2011
  • Georgianna~ Your captures and wonderful narrative make me feel like I'm walking through these rooms with you! Thank you for the delightful tour. All so beautiful and some of my favorite painters, too!
    Have a wonderful week!
    xo Anna

    October 10, 2011
  • Oh, G! I love these photos and your little post on this special lunch date. The place looks so fairytale-esque, and just going through the photos has already sort of transported me into a different dream world. It's really, really beautiful! You capture these memories and places so perfectly. :) It's as though I'm there with you.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, G! :) I absolutely love this!

    I hope you've been well. I've been away from the blog for a bit – took an impromptu and unplanned hiatus, but now I should be back for good. :) Much love from Malaysia! x

    October 11, 2011
  • Oh my .. Im so lost for words. What a place , what an era to have lived in and some still do.
    Breath taking.!!!

    October 11, 2011
  • Great photo essay. I feel inspired to paint!

    October 12, 2011
  • What a beautiful find! Must have been so inspiring to be in the same ambiance of some of the great impressionists. These photos tempt me to make my way there–it's on my list!!

    I eagerly opened my calendar last night as soon as we picked up two weeks worth of mail. I'm so excited to have in my hands the print version of some of your loveliness!

    October 13, 2011
  • HI Georgianna, so lovely to be in touch again and what beautiful photos. I too fell in love with Monet's house,garden and town when I visitied. Really is so special and so are the photos you have taken. Hope things are great with you. Carla

    October 13, 2011
  • Thanks for replying so promptly Georgianna! And for the permisssion, of course! I love your work! I liked the film..it came to complete the feeling I had for quite some time due to your photos: an utter urge to visit it!

    October 13, 2011
  • Bonjour Georgianna – I can't express in words the beauty of your photos – wonderful pretty captures of a magical place – you make me want to pack my bags and head right back there. xx

    October 13, 2011
  • Thanks Georgianna to share these photos. Monet's garden is one of my favorite visits in spring and summer. Do you know it in autumn ? it is gorgeous too with asters and autumnal flowers. Deserve a visit from you !
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Happy week to you.

    October 16, 2011
  • It's easy to see from your photos why Monet fell so in love with this place. The colours everywhere are incredible and what an array of different flowers and plants. Love those shabby bistro chairs too, they're perfect for the surroundings. And what a sweet dog you captured in the first photo, he's a cutie!

    October 16, 2011
  • I have something new for my wishlist – a pale aqua cafe table and chairs.

    October 17, 2011
  • Hi Georgianna
    The French have such pretty places to eat or drink coffee and take time to be, don't they.
    It's wonderful that such quaint and quiet villages still exist in a vastly moving world.
    So nice to see Eadaoin has visited this post above me, I have just been by her place and caught up
    Love kat x

    October 20, 2011
  • Oh my Georgianna,
    These photographs are glorious. You truly have such a gift. You know photography is more than skill, it reflects who the photographer is behind the lens. Your photographs truly reflect your beauty.

    You are blessed to memorize beauty that you see around you.
    Karen

    October 21, 2011
  • Your and David's photographs really take me there. I can almost smell the breeze and the wood. and the metal from the chairs. I am grateful to you because the power of your photography is great. And you share it with a lot of generosity. I *LOVE* that your photographs are as big as they are. It gives me such a sense of the place. You will love Rajasthan, Georgianna. I hope you come some day :)

    November 3, 2011

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I value my relationship with each of you and do my best to respond, although with travel and location work it might take me a little while.


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