In 1922 Monet donated his panoramic cycle of paintings, the Water Lillies, to France. He chose the Orangerie, a stone and glass building originally conceived as a hothouse to protect potted orange trees in winter, as his choice for housing the paintings. It is found in the Tuleries Garden. It wasn’t until 1926 that the paintings were finally put in place there, after Monet’s death. The Orangerie was closed in 2000 for refurbishment and not reopened until 2006. There was a delay because they found portions of an ancient wall which once surrounded what was then Paris. It had to be preserved.
I was interested to finally visit the museum and hoping that there might be some sort of visit to the wall that had been uncovered but, if there was, I missed it. What I didn’t miss were the splendid paintings of Monet, eight panels of water lillies, set into curving walls. I think they did a spectacular job of displaying them. It is a joy to sit in the middle of each of the two ovals and look at how Monet saw the flowers floating in his own pond in different light.
A view of half of the curving room
A little closer
A closeup of those famous water lillies
What they might have looked like had Monet done them in water color.