Stupendous Monets on show in an elegant Parisian villa.
Perhaps this part of western Paris is off most tourists' radar but it's worth making the effort for the simply stunning collection of Monet paintings, most of them bequeathed by one of Monet's sons, and because the setting in this elegant 19th-century villa gives them an intimacy and immediacy that is lacking in many grand museums. Highlights include the painting Impression, Soleil Levant that gave its name to the Impressionist movement, and above all, his canvases of the water garden at Giverny, which are almost abstract exercises in vibrant blues and viridian green. Some of the paintings are in purpose built galleries in the basement, others are displayed around the rooms amid a fabulous collection of Empire furniture and chandeliers with its Egyptian motifs – be sure to admire the Sèvres porcelain geographical clock that tells the time in 12 different places. There are also other Impressionist paintings, including works by Caillebotte, Pissarro, Renoir, and a big collection by Berthe Morisot, sister-in-law of Manet (whose wonderful portrait of her is in Musée d'Orsay), marked both for the freedom of her style and tender portrayal of children.