Impressive Normandy, excursion to the land of painters

Cradle of Impressionism, the region is essential in the history of French painting. The 2020 edition of the Normandy Impressionist festival is an opportunity to rediscover this heritage, this British daily is enchanting.

In Madame Bovary, by Flaubert, Emma’s journey in a cab with her lover who so scandalized bourgeois France begins in front of Rouen Cathedral, whose delicate Gothic facade inspired Monet to 30 distinct paintings, in all lights and in all weather. Marcel Proust gazed from the“aquarium” from the dining room of the Grand Hôtel de Cabourg a seascape of which Gustave Courbet immortalized, with a kitchen knife, the angry and tormented waves.

If Paris was the capital of the 19th century, it was Normandy that shaped modern art and literature. While the rebalancing of relations between the metropolis and the regions is also essential in the landscape of post-Covid culture, the Normandy Impressionist Festival 2020 [qui a débuté le 4 juillet et doit se poursuivre jusqu’au 15 novembre] sets the tone, by demonstrating the local imprint in the great global movements of ideas and by showing, disseminated in several museums, far from the crowds of major exhibitions, works of international prestige.

Hedonistic invitation

With the exhibition “L’Invention d’Étretat”, presented at the Musée des Pêcheries de Fécamp, pre-impressionism unfolds against the unchanged background of the famous limestone needles, planted in the waves like extravagant sculptures. The panoramas of the Seine in summer provide the perfect backdrop for examining, at the “In the studio” exhibition at the Vernon museum, how Pierre Bonnard’s brush transforms them into shimmering patchworks. “The secret Herbarium of Giverny” brings together art and botany at the Rouen Natural History Museum. A whole hedonistic invitation to relive the destinations dear to 19th century French painting, following a historical-conceptual thread that explores the forces that allowed the birth of these works.

At the André-Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa) in Le Havre, facing the port, the


Jackie Wullschläger

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