Normandy, a summer of Impressions!

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A Signac gem

It may have started in May but the huge Normandy Impressionist Festival runs throughout the summer only ending at the end of September. What makes this festival is the fact that it is celebrated throughout Normandy and not just in one place, allowing you to see the whole countryside at its summery best whilst still enjoying an exhibition – the like of which is seldom seen elsewhere in the world. And more than 1.5 million visitors will be joining you in this Normandy tour.

In 2010 almost one million people came to the first event. The main theme chosen this year is water representation in the works of impressionist painters and the festival will display the largest choice ever made of the impressionist works at five main exhibitions in Caen, Rouen, Le Havre, Fécamp and Giverny. Works by Monet, Manet, Sisley, Caillebotte, Pissarro, Boudin, Signac amongst others will be shown all over Normandy.

The works come from local museums, as loans from great museums around the world and quite a lot come from private collections. Some of them have not been seen in public for years. Almost all of them are coming back to their native land, Normandy, for here was the cradle of the impressionism. Never before so many impressionism works been gathered for such an event.

In summary, then, what is there for the visitor to see;

In Rouen at the Fine Arts Museum: “Reflected colour. Impressionism and the water’s surface” which ends on September 22.

In Caen at the Fine Arts Museum: “A Summer at the water’s edge: leisure activities and Impressionism” which ends on September 29.

In Le Havre at the MuMA (André Malraux Modern Art Museum): “Pissarro and the harbours: Rouen, Dieppe, Le Havre” which ends on September 29.

In Fécamp at the Terre-Neuvas Museum: “Monet’s cliffs, those other cathedrals” which ends on September 29, and “Pierre Prins, an Impressionist pastellist at Fecamp” which runs from June 8 to September 8.

Finally, in Giverny at the Musée des Impressionismes: “Signac, the colours of water” y July 2, and “Hiramatsu, the lily pond, homage to Monet” which runs until October 31.

Apart from these five main exhibitions, each one by itself being worth a visit, over 600 artistic events will be offered to the public all over Normandy during the summer. The festival is open to all sorts of art including photography, contemporary art, music, lightshows and even ‘déjeuners sur l’herbe’ beside the river.

All information about all the events can be found by clicking here.

More detailed informations about the five main Impressionism exhibitions is in our monthly Letter from France which gives you the low-down on what to see and do across the channel.
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