Monets Garden tapestries

The series of Monets Garden tapestries have consistently been amongst our most popular wall tapestries in recent years. They are superbly woven in 89% cotton in Belgium by a family company.

Monets Garden tapestries - Giverny lake tapestryLeft is one of these Belgian tapestries in our home; proof that we love it too. This is the horizontal scene from the series which also includes a square version and a vertical one, all in several sizes. Handily, all are available with or without the antique gold border here.

Our admiration for this tapestry increased after we visited Giverny, the Normandy home of Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. As we drove into the village we were among hordes of cars: what a popular place this must be! Yet we were a little baffled that the cars were not tourist rentals but older, battered vehicles. All was revealed when a large field revealed their destination: a car boot sale!

To follow our tour you might like to visit a good website of Monet’s Garden in Giverny. We were there in late September so avoided the tour parties (most useful when we wanted to take photos of the famous Japanese bridge). We began by walking through the Clos Normand flower gardens and then through his home with its collection of Japanese prints. So far the visit was interesting but nothing special. This was to change.

Since Monet’s death a road had been built inconveniently between his home and lake. Access was through a dank tunnel under the road. This short unpleasant tunnel provided a contrast to the wonderful scene which opened up before us: Monet’s lake, his water garden. This was definitely “something to write home about”.  We thoroughly enjoyed walking around it, entranced by its peaceful inspiring beauty. You could see the influence of his Japanese prints on the design.

So our love of this fine Belgian tapestry of Monet’s Garden is understandable. Last month we had the pleasure of taking one of the larger sizes to a fine home further north on Vancouver Island. It may look small below but the tapestry itself is seven feet wide.

Monets Garden wall tapestry - Belgian tapestries

The many options woven of the Monets Garden tapestries are good news for those who would enjoy the beauty of this peaceful scene in their homes. You will find them in the Monet section of our Art tapestries.



Impressionists and Pre-Raphaelites

The Impressionists and Pre-Raphaelites sprang up at much the same time but how different they were! One looked to the future, the other to the past; one sought representation, the other sought accuracy. In both France and Britain a band of young artists rejected the status quo of the established art world and were in turn rejected by it. Yet the artistic response of the two movements was so very different.

In France the Academie des Beaux-Arts endeavoured to control the style and content of Impressionist wall tapestries - Monet tapestry artcontemporary art, seeking realism in portraits and historical themes. Alternative approaches to art were stifled. The group of young artists later known as Impressionists met together from the mid-1860’s not only to discuss the development of art but how to transform the artistic world of their day and actually make a living from it. Most of them often painted landscapes en plein air and produced paintings with less realism but reflecting the true colour of a scene, its sunlight and shadows. They included Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas. Although they diverged in individual styles we easily recognise these paintings for their settings, colours and brushstroke techniques. Their works are generally restricted to paintings though Degas’s sculptures are highly respected. The best collection of Impressionist works is at one of my favourite two art museums, Musee d’Orsay in Paris (my other favourite is the Uffizi Gallery in Florence).

In England, a similar reaction by young artists was taking place but echoing romantic idealism from medieval times. In 1848 the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, later joined or allied with the likes of John William Waterhouse, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. As in France, they had no respect for the established art society, in this case the Royal Academy.

Pre-Raphaelite art sought to copy nature accurately rather than in the slightly later Impressionist manner. In 1860 architect Alexander Beresford-Hope described this as “a most strong and determined realism – a determination to paint nature absolutely” and he added a further aspect of the Pre-Raphaelites: “a sort of mysticism, half-hieratic, half-theological and withal chivalrous”. It is easy to see personalities and principles which led to the broader Arts and Crafts Movement, both earthed in the philosophies of John Ruskin.

We are now the beneficiaries of both these movements, the Impressionists and Pre-Raphaelites, in their very different ways. We can see how Impressionism was a more natural artistic development in the historical context of the last 160 years. The romantic idealism of Pre-Raphaelite art can be seen in Art Nouveau so it was not isolated even if its flowering was brief. We have a good number of Impressionist tapestries available to us today but few Pre-Raphaelite tapestries; let’s hope for more soon. We will place these art wall tapestries on The Tapestry House website as they are woven.