[French Art Culture]

A Virtual Trip to Giverny, where Monet’s water lilies blossom

Let Alliance Française de Hong Kong brings you a virtual tour to the home of the famous French painter and cultural icon Claude Monet, offered by the Claude Monet Foundation.    

Cultural From Home 

Welcome to “Culture From Home #culturechezvous”! Despite the gradual ease of travel restrictions, travelling to France and French-speaking countries still seems a bit daunting to many. Therefore, the AF team curated a diverse programme of online cultural programmes, so that you could immerse yourself in French culture without having to leave Hong Kong!

More than 24 cultural resources from a range of genres have been selected specifically for you, including French movies, concerts, theatre and dance shows, you can even visit museums and galleries in France virtually.  Discover the programmes at your leisure!

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Monet & Impressionism 

Monet was born in Paris in 1840 but grew up in Le Havre, famous for depicting nature as he perceived it. He started with caricatures but then switched focus to painting. He met Manet and Renoir in 1872 in Argenteuil, where Impression, Soleil Levant was born and gave name to the Impressionist movement.

You may already have known Monet’s relationship with paintings and impressionism, but do you know that prior to his impressionist fame, the 15-year-old Monet was actually known for being a caricaturist instead, receiving many requests for him to draw realistic yet surreal figures with ironic and satirical intents.

Enrich your knowledge about art, culture and history of various French-speaking countries by joining Alliance Francaise’s “Arts et civilisations” workshops!

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Monet in Giverny

Monet and his family finally settled in Giverny in 1883. He had two gardens which contrast and complement each other: the first one being Clos Normand, where common species of flowers such as daisies and poppies are planted together with their rare counterparts; another one being the Japanese water garden, where Monet planted wisterias abundantly. Monet built a Japanese-style bridge (Pont japonais) with local craftsmen, where mists appear every morning in spring. Together with the water lilies floating on the pond, all these elements constituted the inspiration for Monet’s creations for almost 2 decades. 

Monet’s garden at home largely contributed to the painter’s world-renowned painting series Nymphéas (Water Lilies). Monet’s paintings of water lilies expanded across 3 decades of his life, until his very last moments in 1926. In 1922, he donated these paintings to Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, which is doubtlessly a tourist must-go today.

In his final years, Monet was becoming increasingly depressed amid the gradual loss of his eyesight and the prolonged warfares. However, these unsettling events did not prevent him from the joy of creation. On the other hand, his use of colours was more and more bright and audacious with bald and heavy strokes. Layers of colours overlap and intertwine on his canvas.

To all our French art culture lovers and Francophiles, what is your favourite Monet artwork and why? And who is your favourite French painter? Comment below and let us know. 

Learn French art culture and French civilisation with Alliance Francaise de Hong Kong

Appreciate the beauty of the French language and culture with Alliance Francaise de Hong Kong. AFHK offers a wide range of French courses and workshops that could not only enhance your proficiency in the French language but would also infuse you with the country’s art and civilisation, taking you to the heart of French culture.

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