Since 1927, this former royal greenhouse has been the home of Monet’s “Nymphéas,” or water lilies, which he conceived as a “haven of peaceful meditation.” Two large oval rooms are dedicated to these masterpieces, in which Monet tried to replicate the feeling and atmosphere of his garden at Giverny. He worked on these enormous canvases for 12 years, with the idea of creating an environment that would soothe the “overworked nerves” of modern men and women.
The other highlight here is the Guillaume collection, an impressive assortment of late-19th- and early-20th-century paintings. The first light-filled gallery displays works by Renoir and Cezanne. The rest of the collection includes slightly sinister landscapes by Rousseau, enigmatic portraits by Modigliani, distorted figures by Soutine, as well as some kinder, gentler Picassos (“Les Adolescents” bathed in pink and rust tones).
- Margie Rynn