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Nov. 14: On Monet's 173rd birthday, we visit his Giverny home in pictures

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French impressionist Claude Monet was born on Nov. 14, 1840. His 2,000-plus works include many from his breathtaking garden in Giverny, about 50 miles from Paris. The garden is divided into two sections: an area just for flowers and a Japanese-inspired pond. Monet, who naturally paid close attention to everything visual, organized the garden’s flowers by color rather than variety, creating a stunning landscape.

The artist and his family lived on the grounds from 1883 until his death in 1926. His son Michel bequeathed it to the Academie des Beaux-Arts in 1966, and the home and gardens underwent a 10-year restoration process. They officially reopened to the public in 1980, and most of the little details that were so important to Monet -- like the bold green color of his shutters -- remained untouched.

Monet enlarged his home, dubbed the House of the Cider Press because a nearby square contained a press, to its current 40 meters by 5 meters (about 130 feet by 16 feet, or 200 square meters/2,150-ish square feet). 

Photos of the interior are strictly forbidden -- but we've found a few from Flickr that are in the Creative Commons. Don't tell anyone! 

Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.

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