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A Toast to Claude Monet

A toast to Claude Monet…revisiting my favourite artists and paintings helps to forget some of 2020 uncertainties. I love to find out the quirky, human bits of famous artists or paintings. It's a bit like; but wait - there must be more…

Claude Monet's house & garden in Giverny is one of my favourites. A beautiful place visited long ago brings back a smile and memories. Monet, the painter, also had a very charming domestic side. Some 30 years ago, I came across a book by Claire Joyes, telling the enchanting story of Monet's life at Giverny and his love of good food and Wine. The book was accompanied with photographs of handwritten recipes from his notebook. He even collected recipes of dishes he encountered on his travels or at his friends' houses.

And there was always Wine; we don't know what Wine he preferred, Bordeaux is mentioned. What we know is that he imbibed liberally over a lavish lunch each day before returning to back to work. There are some jokes floating about that the midday enjoyment of Wine had an impact on Monets soft-focused Impressionism. He also loved champagne, it was generously served at celebrations, and he insisted on decanting it.

He was a moody, reserved and very private man but loved entertaining friends. Only lunch, never dinner, as he worked to a strict timetable around his painting routine, always had an early night to get up at dawn to catch the 'light'. Lunch was served at 11:30h, again to catch the afternoon 'light'. His regular guest where fellow Impressionists we all admire today Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Pissaro and many more. Monet died at great the age of 86, so much for the health benefits of a 'Good Life'. His closest friend, Georges Clémenceau, insisted that a floral cloth should grace Monet's casket, as black is not a colour and rarely used by Impressionists and inappropriate. And please let me know if you are interested in some of Monet’s recipes, I’m happy to share them with you.

Ulrike x

Art & Wine are a natural pair. Still Life by Claude Monet; Bottle, Carafe, Bread and Wine 1862-63

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