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This model is a representation of the house and garden in Giverny (KML file), where Claude Monet lived from 1883 to his death in 1926. Giverny is a small town in the Normandy département of Eure, about 65 km north-west of Paris, near Vernon. The garden is situated very near the junction of the rivers Seine and Epte (a brook rather than a river, I'd say, just as Giverny is more of a village than a town). The garden as well as its neighbourhood were the inspiration or indeed the direct model for many of Monet's paintings. The house and garden are well-preserved (though the footpath between the garden and the pond has become a veritable through road), and the house is now the seat of the Fondation Claude Monet.
There are many websites dedicated to the garden and house, many of which also give very good information about visiting the site; please looks them up yourself. Looking for "visit monet garden giverny" in the search engine of your choice should bring many results. There is also a dedicated website that even has a plan of the actual garden. Below are some impressions of what the garden looks like today.
This model is beautiful, but it is also unusual in some ways. Most models simply say "cut here, fold her, glue together". Here, some elements (like trees and hedges) must be sculpted by the modeler (they did something similar with the rocks in their Mont Saint-Michel model), so each model will be unique in certain small details. Also, you are free to place some elements (notably the figures) wherever you feel they would be appropriate. A nice touch, though it somewhat disturbed the precision engineer that in spite of retirement keeps pestering part of my soul. I must say that it took me some effort to actually crumble the cleanly cut-out bushes and hedges!
But back to "beautiful": The drawing and colouring are very precise yet light, done in watercolours and reminding me of Monet's own style of painting (not a coincidence, I am sure); the print quality is excellent, as always for L'instant Durable models. Many parts are printed double-sided, and very precisely, too. Inexplicably, on the base and back they got the size reserved for the terrace (part 1+2) wrong, but you can easily hide that with a bit of watercolour.
The model is a hommage to Claude Monet, and a very nice one, too. I am glad that I finally got around to build it.
(Click image to show it in large size.)
If you would like to build this model yourself, here are my experiences and thoughts:
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, last change 2018-05-10