Here you can see where his inspiration came from in creating the brilliant "Waterlilies" series. You can see some of Monet's most famous paintings at the Marmottan and D'Orsay Museums in Paris. In fact, if you are interested in impressionist art, head right up to the third floor of the Orsay.
Giverny is about 60 miles west of Paris and is easily reached by car or train.  No trip to France is complete without a visit. The town itself is charming -- the gardens a masterpiece. Bring plenty of film and be prepared for lines, crowds and an occasional sunshower. It will be well worth the effort.
Claude Monet lived and painted in the charming village of Giverny from 1883 until he died in 1926. The term "impressionist" originated from his painting, "Impression, soleil levant." Monet had a love for flowers, and his home and gardens are now a tribute to his passion.
Monet was greatly influenced by Japanese artists, which is displayed in the design of his footbridges. At times it's difficult to see the bridge under the wisteria, as in the photo above.  I took these photos on separate trips, May 1999 and May 2000.
"I want to paint the air in which the bridge, the house and the boat lie.  The beauty of the air in which they are, and that is nothing other than impossible."
       --  Monet
"It took me some time to understand my water lilies... I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them wthout thinking of painting them... A landscape takes longer than a day to imbue you...and then, all of a sudden, I had the revelation of how magical my pond is.  I took my palette.  Since then I have scarcely had any other model." 

      --  Monet