“I must have flowers, always, and always.” – Claude Monet

by tobelikeafeatherby

Dear Sarah,

I would love to go to La Scala whilst you’re still living in Italy. On Thursday I saw La traviata at the Royal opera house. This was me:


It was fabulous, the Italians know how to do parties and romance properly, don’t you agree? I’m sure you can tell me a bit more about that.

At the moment I have some narcissus jonquilla flowers in my room, they are like mini daffodils and smell amazing. Also there are daffodils blooming in Mile End. It seems like Spring is almost on its way in London. I felt very Spring like Yesterday evening when I went with Charlotte to the Painting the Modern Garden exhibition at the Royal academy. It made me think of you and your appreciation of flowers.

There was a beautiful quote early on in the exhibition from Monet; “I perhaps owe it to flowers that I became a painter”. It reminded me of Grandma’s many flower paintings and of Grandpa’s garden, which must have been a source of inspiration. In William Cook’s article on the exhibition he suggests “a garden is a sort of painting, an attempt to create the perfect picture, in the round”. The exhibition has many divine examples of how gardens and flowers were depicted by the Impressionist and Expressionist painters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We see how dreamy the results can be when the disciplines of gardening and painting meet; the works displayed reveal each artists’ route to escapism through nature.

Here are a few of my favourite works from the display:


Chrysanthemums, Claude Monet, 1897


Murnau-Garden II, Wassily Kandinsky, 1910


Flower Garden, Emil Nolde, 1922

In the final room the viewer is presented with Monet’s triptych of immense waterlily paintings (the Agapanthus Triptych), reunited especially for the exhibition. The colours are blissful and the texture on the surface of the canvas is so soft and blurred that you can get lost in there; gravity melts away. In fact they are so immersive you can almost dive in and imagine looking up through the water at the undersides of the lily pads overhead.

After the exhibition we went to a lovely pub called The Seven Stars in Holborn. There is a little cat there who wears a special neck ruffle. A very stylish cat I think you would agree.

I hope all this tempts you for a visit to London soon.