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Claude Monet's Christmas

There’s excitement in Giverny! The house buzzes with preparations for Christmas Eve. This afternoon of December 25, 1884, the stuffed capon on its bed of chestnuts will delight Claude Monet, Alice Hoschedé and the 8 children of this blended family! The table is set in the dining room while the tree takes pride of place in the little blue boudoir.

Claude Monet. La Charette, route sous la neige à Honfleur. 1867. Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
Claude Monet. La Charette, route sous la neige à Honfleur. 1867. Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

Outside, the garden which runs down from the house to the road, planted with an orchard and surrounded by high stone walls, is as if frozen in the bitter cold of the winter of 1884. That year, Claude Monet was not idle. Three months spent in Italy from where he returned in the spring with nearly 40 canvases, the first haystacks painted during the summer, the installation which continues in his new house "Le pressoir", for which he signed the lease in May 1883.


La famille Monet-Hoschedé vers 1886. De gauche à droiteClaude Monet, Alice Monet, Michel Monet, Jean-Pierre Hoschede, Blanche Hoschede, Jean Monet, Jacques Hoschede, Martha Hoschede, Germaine Hoschede, Suzanne Hoschede
La famille Monet-Hoschedé vers 1886. De gauche à droite. Claude Monet, Alice Hoschedé, Michel Monet, Jean-Pierre Hoschede, Blanche Hoschede, Jean Monet, Jacques Hoschede, Marthe Hoschede, Germaine Hoschede, Suzanne Hoschede. Copyright : musée Marmottan Monet ©Bridgeman Image.

The tree is decorated with candies and candles. As for gifts, the children ( Marthe Hoschedé, the oldest is 20 years old and Michel Monet, the youngest, is 6 years old), will have to wait until the end of the afternoon. Dolls, toy soldiers, New Year gifts slipped into small envelopes, jewelry for these young ladies, will be placed at the foot of the tree.


In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the 19th century in France...




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