The Orangerie des Tuileries in Paris seems destined to spend its life housing plants in one form or another. It started life in 1852 when it was first built to provide shelter for the orange trees that lined the garden of Tuileries Palace.
The trees mustn’t have lasted long in Parisian winters, because the Orangerie got side-tracked for several decades, serving different functions (such as an exam hall, exhibition hall and concert hall). Then in 1920 it was chosen to house a completely different type of plant—large painted panels known as Nyphméas or Water Lilies by French impressionist Claude Monet.
Over the last 30 years of his life, Monet focused on painting the water lilies in the flower garden at his home in Giverny. About 250 of his paintings feature these flowers (many were painted when Monet had cataracts),
But the Orangerie paintings were done especially for that location. They were considered such an important contribution to the setting that…
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