Arts Everyday Living: Travels with Monet, From London to Venice

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Monet did not get to Vienna where I am enjoying myself now.  But he did travel thousands of miles during his 86 years, even reaching what he must have considered the faraway country of Norway (in winter!), where his stepson Jacques was then living.

Monet’s trips were not vacations, although he certainly did appreciate like most tourists the novelty of exploring new places.  Art was always his priority, overcoming almost any obstacle including health, lack of money, homesickness, and above all, weather conditions that could impede his progress on a promising canvas.

So here is a visual and written capsule of Monet’s journeys outside of France.

HOLLAND (Summer, 1871 and Spring, 1886)

“…houses of all colors, windmills by the hundreds, and enchanting boats…There is enough to paint here for a lifetime.”

Claude Monet, Zaan at Zaandam, 1871, oil on canvas, Private Collection

Claude Monet, Zaan at Zaandam, 1871, oil on canvas, Private Collection


NORWAY (Winter, 1895)

“It’s impossible to see more beautiful effects than here—I am speaking of the effects of the snow, which are absolutely stupefying, but of  an unbelievable difficulty…above all because of this immense whiteness.”


Claude Monet, The Red Houses at Bjornegaard, Norway, 1895, oil on canvas, Musee Marmottan, Paris


LONDON (September 1870–May, 1871), (Autumn, 1899), (Winter, 1900), (Winter, 1901)

“Without the fog, London would not be a beautiful city.  It is the fog which gives it its marvelous breadth.  Its regular, massive blocks become grandiose in this mysterious cloak.”


Claude Monet, Houses of Parliament (Setting Sun), 1900-1901, Private Collection


VENICE (Autumn, 1908)

“I am living in a dream—this arrival in Venice, so marvelous, the calm that steals upon you…..”


Claude Monet, San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight, 1908, National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff

Venice would be the final painting trip for the 68 year old Monet.  As he confided to art critic Gustave Geffroy, “But what a dreadful shame that I did not come here when I was young and would dare anything!…I have spent some delightful moments here and nearly forgot that I am the old man that I am.”*

*The quotes are from two sources:  Monet and the Mediterranean by Joachim Pissarro, Rizzoli in association with the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas and Monet’s Landscapes by Vivian Russell, Bullfinch Press, New York, 2000.

See our other Monet blogs:  Travels with Monet—On the Riviera & Travels with Monet—The Sea at Normandy

The above images are used solely for educational purposes.


And you can explore more Monets in Through an Artist’s Eyes: Learning to Live Creatively.

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