Does the spirit of Claude Monet walk in his garden? He said his garden was his greatest masterpiece – so perhaps he lingers within its borders. But all the tourists might drive him mad! He (like many artists) used to be infuriated by the interruptions of curious people.
I like to think he may come and go – leaving when it is busy and returning when all is quiet. The garden was nearly empty of people in late autumn of 2012 when I was there.
Who knows? Perhaps we walked side by side sharing in silence our solitude.
On a former occasion, in 2005, I visited Giverny with my family. Here I hand the page over to Matthew to introduce his song “Walking with Claude“…
Walking with Claude by Matthew Clements
“In the summer of 2005 we spent time in Monet’s garden. It was during one of our last family holidays before Emily, Alicia and Lucy sprouted their own wings.
I wanted to write a song which somehow captured the artist in his idyll. My mother, Barbara, was a gifted gardener. I thought how she would have loved Monet’s garden but her advancing age made it unlikely she could ever make the journey. In fact, she never visited Europe during her life. So the song became my description to her of his wonderful garden.
By the time I wrote the song a year later, my own impending kidney failure somehow impacted the spirit of the song as I compared my mother’s mortality with my own.
The brilliant Perth guitarist and singer-songwriter Simon Nield, already with well advanced cancer that would soon take his life, found his own meaning in the lyric and recorded me singing it in his studio in 2007. He then overlaid some of his own gorgeous guitar. Thank you Simon!”