1 December 2018 Susannah

Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

One of two rooms in the w:Musée de l'Orangerie containing some of Monet's Water Lilies.

Two of my favourite rooms in the entire world are those in the Orangerie Museum in Paris which hold Monet’s waterlily paintings. They are oval in shape and in each room four stunning paintings are displayed.

I go and see them every time I am in Paris.

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King

So I was delighted to find an excellent book on the subject – Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King. I learned so much from this book about Monet’s struggles to finish these amazing works, his plan to gift them to the nation after WWI and the challenges of finding a museum to house them. The author really made Monet come alive – you could just see him in his garden at Giverny, half-blind from cataracts, tormented by the frustrations of trying to capture a light that changed perpetually, constantly encouraged by his friend Clemenceau, and enjoying food and wine in great quantities.

I just loved this book – if you love the art of Monet, you will too!

   Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King

  Musée de l’Orangerie

Have you been to the Orangerie Museum? Have you already read this book? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Featured image credit- One of two rooms in the w:Musée de l’Orangerie containing some of Monet’s Water Lilies. by Brady Brenot – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64376531
Body image credit- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32730770-mad-enchantment

Comments (4)

  1. Margaret Debenham

    Susannah, thank you so much for bringing this book to my attention. Like you, I visit the Orangerie every time I am in Paris, particularly to sit in the middle of each room and contemplate the different moods of the waterlily pond, from morning light to dusk. There was a period when photography was not allowed in those rooms, but last time I went the ban had been lifted and unfortunately the selfies-takers made quiet contemplation rather difficult. I have also been to Monet’s beautiful house and gardens in Giverney on several occasions – it is often very crowded, but in late autumn it can be quite peaceful – no waterlilies in bloom, but magnificent autumn foliage. I think “Mad Enchantment” will be my Christmas present from my son this year.

    I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas, filled with bookish presents.


    My wife and I came upon the Musee de L’Orangerie quite by accident after visiting the Musee D’Orsay and then crossed the river to visit the Jardin de Tuileries. We loved the Impressionists but in our two trips to Paris never had the time to see anything but the Orsay and had never identified other Impressionist museums. We were enticed into the Orangerie by the glut of ruddy Renoir beauties on the main floor, then found the water lilies below. What a wonderful surprise! Your blog brings back wonderful memories of watching the lilies change as the light did.

  3. Penny Morris

    The Orangerie is definitely a must see especially if you can go when there are few visitors and just sit. Monet is my husband’s favourite painter (mine is Van Gogh) so I will definitely look into that book. Thank you Susannah for your wonderful recommendations and I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas. Penny

  4. Tania Arthur

    I’ve not been to the Orangerie, I have read the book Mad Enchantment however. It is my favourite book I read this year. The author really did make Money and his struggles come alive didn’t he. Thanks for your article, most enjoyable. Merry Christmas , Tania

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