Two days ago, after a great visit to the Louvre including many amazing exhibits and even some imitating of the poses of the sculptures in the gallery, we walked through the square to l’Orangerie, passing by a large portable arena with loud music and “Streetball: World Championship” written across the side of it. Though none of us on the trip had ever heard of Streetball, there seemed to be a large following of spectators.
When we continued on to l’Orangerie, a collection of Monet’s large water lily murals, I remembered when our guide told us the meaning of the French word, “orangerie.” He said that the word came from when the French nobility wanted to have orange trees in their beautiful gardens, but they ran into a problem. Orange trees cannot survive in the frigid temperatures of France’s winter. The nobility created rooms indoors that they could put their orange trees when it was cold and called them orangeries. I felt like the name of the museum was very fitting because it made me think I was walking into an indoor garden, and the paintings were living plants.
I think that L’Orangerie is one of my favorite museums that we have seen in Paris. Because the murals surrounded each of the walls I felt like I was present in the garden. I could sit and look at the paintings for hours. One thing that I found interesting was the way the water seemed to swirl because of the curved lines that he painted over the pond. I wondered if the pond in his garden actually looked that way. Well, I would find out the next day when we drove to Giverny to see Monet’s garden, and not this time through his paintings, but in real life.
Yesterday, when we visited Monet’s garden the gardening was just as beautiful as I expected. The gardens smelled strongly of the flowers’ perfume and they were maintained impeccably. While looking at the water, I could see the rippling and constant movement of its surface depicted in Monet’s paintings. I think the hundreds of frogs, fish and other critters that were living in the garden created these swirls. The only thing that I was a little surprised and disappointed about was the large amounts of other people visiting that day. Overall, visiting L’Orangerie and Monet’s house were unforgettable experiences and I am so glad that we had the chance to see both of these incredible sights.