Visionaries of the art world are often celebrated today; their pieces lauded at internationally acclaimed exhibitions globally. What if I told you, you could take your experience one step further and delve into the dwellings of these pioneers?
Step into the world of five artist extraordinaires to understand the heart and soul of their work.
Claude Monet (Giverny, France)
Shy of an hour-drive north of Paris, you can stroll in the shoes of the Impressionist founder at his maudlin residence.
Monet is endeared by many, remembered through his idyllic portraits, many of which were inspired by his enchanting abode. He was a maven in manipulating reflections and colour to paint the subtlety of nature and sunlight.
An avid admirer of Japanese art himself, Monet echoed this love in his water garden. The old Japanese bridge in his oasis was the subject of his masterpiece “Water Lily Pond”.
Tranquillity overwhelms you as you revere your surroundings. Gingkos, bamboos, oriental trees and colourful water lilies will feel as though you’ve plunged headfirst into one of Monet’s Nympheas.
Vincent Van Gogh (Mons, Belgium)
Settling down in the poor industrial mining town of Mons, it was this backdrop that inspired Van Gogh as an artist. Overwhelmed by hardship, he weaved the emotional toils and misery of the community into his paintbrush, which birthed one of his more redolent works “Potato Eaters” (1885).
It was in this house that Van Gogh took his first steps into pursuing art. In the 1970s, it was restored and is now a museum open to the public.
Frida Kahlo (Mexico City, Mexico)
An explosion of colour fitting of the mastermind herself, this striking cobalt blue house was the permanent residence of Frida Kahlo, known for her revolutionary self-portraits.
Affectionately termed La Casa Azul (The Blue House), it features a range of artefacts, artwork and Mexican folk-art. The house has been kept exceptionally intact, adorned with personal leaflets, memorabilia and original furniture.
Leonardo Da Vinci (Amboise, France)
A household name; mere mention of it would send a flurry through the art world today. The Château du Clos Lucé served as the living quarters of Da Vinci for the last four years of his life.
His contributions, however, stand the test of time for far longer. Embellished with Renaissance frescoes, the castle also features an original copy of the world-renowned Mona Lisa.
Da Vinci was also a savant engineer, conjuring up models of tanks, helicopters and swing bridges. Forty of his inventions have been reconstructed and are on display in the castle grounds.
Jason Pollock (Long Island, New York)
The forefather of the Expressionist Movement, Jason Pollock lived in this quaint barn-house from marriage until his death in 1984.
The barn served as his studio, still marked by his signature paint splatters that continue to marvel art buffs till this day. His art supplies, personal jazz collection and library remains in mint condition, left to be appreciated by enthusiasts for years to come.
Salvador Dali (Girona, Spain)
Synonymous with eccentricities, Dali’s abode sure reflects his love for the absurd, the wacky, and the surreal. Renovated and designed by Dali himself, his palatial home in Portlligat started as a small former fisherman’s house and over the years, it grew as Dali purchased more fishermen’s houses and moulded them into one great complex.
Dali spent most of his living time here and he made sure to make it feel like a home to him and his wife: a home to a surrealist artist, that is.
It looks pretty unassuming from outside, but step inside, and you’ll see Dali’s touches here and there. A bedecked polar bear, Pirelli adverts, and the infamous Mae West lips sofa are just a few that will delight visitors to this house-museum.