…From the documentary at the Orangerie museum about Monet’s Waterlily vision: he first imagined creating an immersive environment in 1897 but was unable to work on it for years, grieving for his wife and son, losing his sight to cataracts, then undergoing eye surgery. As war raged across Europe, he was possessed by an almost supernatural energy, constructing a huge atelier in Giverny to house the panels, now twice the size he originally planned. Encouraged by his friend, the statesman Clémenceau, he completed the canvases at the end of World War I, as a gift to the people of France and everywhere, as a sanctuary amid the alienating aspects of our modern world.
Clémenceau and Monet chose the Orangerie building both for its location by the Seine, the river flowing through Giverny and Monet’s life, and also because it stands in a garden, the Tuileries, on an East-West axis, like Paris itself, aligned with cycles of day and night depicted in the paintings.
I want to see my world as Monet saw, alive with light… past, present, future, eternity in every moment.