The seventh in our series of inspirational suites across the globe is The Monet Suite at The Savoy London. After completing the most ambitious hotel restoration in British history, The Savoy opened its doors once more in October 2010. Having originally opened in 1889, the hotel has, over its illustrious history, attracted a number of world-famous high-profile figures, who made the hotel their London home. To honour this, the remodel of the hotel included the creation of nine sumptuous suites, crafted to reflect the personalities of these noteworthy figures – all true icons who represent the world of politics, art, film, theatre and opera.
In Edwardian style, the Monet Suite features panoramic views of the River Thames, which proved an inspiration for Monet. The famous artist stayed at The Savoy hotel three times between 1899 and 1901, it was during this time that he laboured over almost 100 canvases, taking the works-in-progress back to France after each trip and returning with them the next year for refinement, until completion at his magnificent estate in Giverny, Upper Normandy.
Claude Monet was the founder of French Impressionist painting and the most prolific practitioner in the movement. Historians suggest his stays at The Savoy to paint its famous views were inspired by his friend, James McNeill Whistler, who was a friend of The Savoy founder Richard D’Oyly Carte. Whistler had taken to painting Thames views from the terraces at The Savoy and apparently recommended them to his friend Monet. During his time in London studying the works of Turner and Constable, Monet began work on his London landscapes. He was said to have been very fond of the city – noting in particular not its architecture or atmosphere, but the ‘fogs of London’ known as ‘pea-souper’ which were a result of the cities pollution at that time.
In a 1900 letter to his wife, Monet wrote ‘London would be quite ugly if it was not for the fog’, this letter, written on The Savoy writing paper is still in existence locked in a vault of an investment company somewhere…
Unusually, during his first stay at The Savoy in 1899 he executed a large number of pastel sketches from his terrace. It emerged from a series of frustrated letters to his wife that his boxes of canvases and equipment had not yet arrived in London – the pastels were completed the week before their arrival.
The Unknown Monet: Pastels & Drawings describes his views… ‘he could look down from the north bank of The Thames across the busy river to the wider industrial landscape. Facing east, Monet saw the deep stone arches of the old Waterloo Bridge, topped by its crowds of pedestrians in rush hour traffic. As he turned west, he confronted the grid of the modern steel structure that carries trains into Charing Cross railway station to this day. Two major sequences of paintings were based on these views and a third was begun when he acquired permission to paint (from St. Thomas’s Hospital) opposite the Houses of Parliament at Westminster.’
Unlike artists such as Toulouse Lautrec or Vincent Van Gogh, Monet did not lead a scandalous life in brothels and cabaret clubs, or lead a wild life ending in madness and self-destruction. He was a respected, successful and prosperous family man whose passions other than art, were gardening and food. The Savoy Claude Monet library is rich with glorious picture-led editions chronicling his paintings and garden at his home in Giverny. Some of his work can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery and Tate Britain. The National Gallery also has a large collection, which is currently not on display.
Enjoy a stay at the Monet Suite at The Savoy and wake up to views that inspired some of the artists greatest paintings. The room features a marble entrance foyer, personal bar, bespoke Savoy furnishings and is of course, decorated with special pieces, artwork and antiques associated with the great man.
You can book the Monet Suite at The Savoy with a special package which includes Afternoon Tea for two, butler service, traditional English breakfast and 20% off your next stay at a suite of this kind for GBP1950.75 available till 30th April 2013.
Contributor: Ali Bedford
The Savoy London is managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts which is a client of Magellan PR. For more information, please visit www.fairmont.com, follow them on twitter @FairmontHotels or on Facebook/Fairmont Hotels. Their community website is www.everyonesanoriginal.com. Follow The Savoy London on twitter @TheSavoyLondon and on Facebook/The Savoy.
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