Impressionist painter Claude Monet's famous garden at Giverny will be the subject of the National Gallery of Victoria's Winter Masterpiece exhibition next year, the gallery's new director Tony Ellwood said this morning.

The colourful flower garden, 80 kilometres outside Paris, is where Monet lived for the second half of his life and painted many of his most-loved works depicting its irises, willows, water-lily-covered lake and wisteria-covered bridge.

The garden is one of France's most-visited tourist attractions, and Monet's images of it — reproduced on posters, tea towels, jigsaws and more — are a major industry in themselves.

A number of the works in the exhibition will be borrowed from the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris, which houses a collection of 130 paintings, drawings, and other works.

This will be the 10th exhibition in the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series held at the NGV since its inception in 2004 with The Impressionists.

While likely to be popular, the announcement marks something of a departure in style for Ellwood, whose time at the helm of the Queensland Museum of Art and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane was marked by an interest in more contemporary art. His northern blockbusters included major Warhol and Picasso exhibitions, and one devoted to art of the 21st century that included a stainless steel, multi-level slide.