$138 USD per device. 4 programs, held weekly. Enroll in all 4 or choose only the ones that interest you. Each program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Sundays, May 16, 23, 30, and June 6 at 10:00 am EST
  • Tuesday, June 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 11:00 am EST

The Impressionist Claude Monet once said: “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” Garden design in France is both an art and an inspiration for making art. In this series, we’ll see how French garden and landscape design evolved over time, focusing on some of the country’s most iconic green spaces. We’ll visit the Italian-inspired gardens of Tuileries and Luxembourg Palace in central Paris, and then marvel at the outdoor splendors of Versailles. Back in Paris, we’ll stroll through the city’s most beloved 19th-century parks. We’ll finish with Monet’s marvel of a natural paradise at his home in Giverny. Join a Parisian-native for an inspiring online experience of French gardens in full bloom.

Your educator Julien Savadoux, studied both history and art history at Paris’ Sorbonne University, and graduated with a degree in cultural mediation. Julien has shared his passion for his hometown of Paris, as both guide and educator for several decades.  

French Gardens, A Series features:

The Royal Palaces of Paris

Join us for a virtual exploration of the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens. Both are now public parks beloved by Parisians and visitors alike, but they were originally designed to accompany royal palaces. Hear about the Italian inspiration for these two formal gardens, designed for powerful Medici women who were also French queens. In 1564, Catherine de Medici commissioned a new palace near the medieval Louvre and asked for a Renaissance-style garden to adjoin it. Sixty years later, when Marie de Medici wished to recreate her childhood home in Florence, the Pitti Palace and its stunning Boboli gardens served as the model for today’s Jardin du Luxembourg. In this program, we’ll discover the gorgeous details in both green spaces. Renaissance art ideals were not just for painting and sculpture. They also redefined the beauty of the European garden, bringing calm, nature, and elegance to today’s Paris.

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Visitors to Versailles often prefer to explore the majestic gardens over battling the crowds inside the château. The natural worlds here are a living form of French history, spread over 800 hectares of land. It all began in 1682 when Louis XIV decided to move his royal court from the Louvre to Versailles. He then hired André Le Nôtre to imagine one of the most ambitious gardens ever made. Landscaping was a metaphor for the Sun King’s power and grandeur. Lavish garden parties dazzled thousands of visitors during summer nights at Versailles, with a backdrop of fountains, parterres, grottos, and outdoor art. Explore this fantastic world of nature and horticulture with a seasoned Versailles guide, joining you live from France.

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Iconic Parks of Paris

Many of the parks beloved by Parisians today were created in the 19th-century, during a period known as the Second Empire. From the elegant Parc Monceau, the stunning Buttes Chaumont, to the vast Bois de Vincennes, no Parisian needs to wander too far from home for a bit of nature and fresh air. How and why were those green gems created? Appalled by the city’s unhealthy conditions, Napoléon III looked to London as a model. When he hired Baron Haussmann to transform the city, Paris had only four parks. His landscape planner Adolphe Alphand envisioned a new city with “green and flowering salons” accessible to all Parisians. Virtually stroll through the prettiest, most opulent spots with a native Parisian, as he shares these histories with you.

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Monet’s Nature Palette at Giverny

Monet is known as an Impressionist painter, but he was also a passionate gardener. Seed catalogs were his go-to reading. The sublime artistry of Monet’s gardens at Giverny are the legacy of his love for contemplating nature. Get ready for an in-person visit to the artist’s Norman home outside Paris. Learn about the cultural roots of Monet’s mix of flower gardens (Clos Normand) with a picturesque water garden (Jardin d’eau). See how the Japanese bridge and bamboo reflect Monet’s fascination with Japanese woodblock prints. You’ll visit Monet’s home at Giverny via images and stories, to explore the deep connections he made between nature and art. Come and marvel at the ever-evolving color palette of Monet’s plants and flowers, captured in his majestic Water Lily paintings, also known as the Nymphéas.

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Image: View of the Eiffel Tower from the Tuileries Gardens, Paris.

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