Hotel Baudy – The Historical Giverny Hotel
When you head off to Giverny, there is one place you can visit that was once THE meeting place of the 19th century impressionists. It isn’t a museum but rather a small Giverny hotel. Its name was Hotel Baudy, named after the owners.
This humble Giverny hotel turned into an establishment where the French & American Impressionsm giants met, painted and discussed art. All the big names were here. So read its fascinating story……
Monet Presence in Giverny Lures the French & Foreign Artists
Claude Monet moved to Giverny early May 1883 with his family. He initially rented a large home with a huge piece of land from a local landowner. When he started selling his paintings, Monet bought the entire property. Later he bought even more land adjacent to the property in order to establish his dream garden.
Other artists from all over France and around the world gravitated to Giverny to be close to the master of Impressionism, Claude Monet. Over time Giverny became a vibrant artist colony, made up predominantly of American artists. These artists came to study impressionism and they painted the beautiful landscapes in and surrounding Giverny village.
Accommodation is Needed for the Visiting Artists
It all started with one young American artist, Willard Metcalf . At the time, he was studying art at the Paris Julian Academie. One weekend, Metcalf was traveling around the picturesque countryside of Vernon. He arrived in Giverny and was impressed with the beauty of the region. He decided that he wanted to stay for the night. However, there was no hotel in Giverny.
Metcalf knocked on the door of the grocer’s shop. Mrs. Baudy opened the door. In broken French, the artist asked if there was a bed to sleep in. Madame Baudy was scared of the tall, bearded man. She only had her bed, and turned him away, double-locking the door.
Four Cents a Night for Food & Lodging!
A few months later, Metcalf returned to Giverny together with some artist friends and this time with painting materials. He was more determined to find accommodation. Mrs Baudy decided to give up her place for the visitors and she stayed with the next-door neighbor. The following day, she cooked for her American guests and they painted from morning until evening. She charged them each four cents for the food and lodging!
During lunch, the American artists were delighted to find out that the master of impressionism, Claude Monet lived just a few meters away.
The American artists were delighted with their experience in Giverny and were especially impressed that Monet lived there. And the price of four cents a night for food and accommodation was an absolute bargain!
The Baudys Expand to Accomodate the Artists!
The American Artists Spread the News About Giverny
Back in Paris, Metcalf tells his fellow students about beautiful Giverny. He also tells them about the lodging arrangement with Mrs Baudy who offers food & accommodation for a ridiculously low price of four cents a night!
From then on, artists were flocking to Giverny to paint. They were all knocking on Mrs Baudy’s door asking for food and lodging.
The Baudys Expand to Accommodate the Visiting Artists
With the influx of artists, the owners Angelina and Gaston Baudy realize a new business potential. They quickly expand their property. They build a restaurant, add modest sleeping quarters, erect painting workshops in the gardens, stock art supplies and use an unused space as an impromptu art gallery.
This modest lodge quickly establishes itself as THE meeting place for French and international artists. The artist came from all over to to dine, share ideas and to discuss the latest news in the art world.
The impressionist Camille Pissarro also spent time in this hotel and encouraged fellow artists to stay there as well. He claimed:
“There you will find all that you need to paint, and the best company there is!” Camille Pissarro
The Impressionism Masters who Stayed in Hotel Baudy
French impressionism artists such as Cézanne, Renoir, Sisley, Rodin , Cassatt and others came here when they visited Giverny. American artists such as Sargent, Robinson, Hart, Butler, Beckwith, Dawson-Watson, Young, MacMonnies, Frieseke, Collins, Perry, & others also stayed in Hotel Baudy.
Artists who could not afford to pay, bartered their artwork for food & lodging. The hotel walls were covered with paintings!!
Today the hotel is now a restaurant in Giverny offering wonderful traditional French food. The building still has its rustic, old-time charm. The walls of the restaurant are full of paintings (replicas) painted by the artists who stayed there.
After dining in the restaurant, roam around the beautiful gardens and have a look inside the workshop. The Baudy’s built the workshop in 1887 with huge glass windows allowing natural light to come in. This was perfect for the painters. Claude Monet sometimes used this workshop to paint, as did many other impressionism giants.
Baudy Restaurant Address: 81 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny, France
Looking for accommodation in Giverny? Check out BOOKING.COM for a variety of hotel/ B&B options.
For the links below, I receive a small commission when you purchase. Please note that you do not pay more when you buy through my site
Looking for an organized tour to Giverny from Paris? Check out the options below: