Normandy Impressionist Festival 2013
Back for a second year, the Normandy Impressionist Fesitval celebrates the birth of the Impressionist movement on Normandy’s shores, only an hour away from Paris by car or train.
Impressionism began in 1872, when Monet painted the sea in Le Havre and called it Impression:Sunrise, penning the term “Impressionism” for the first time. From then on, artists such as Pissarro, Manet, Renoir and Signac used this new style of blurring lines, sweeping brush strokes and blending pastel colors to capture the Parisian and Norman countryside in a new and unique way.
This year’s theme is water, a favorite subject of the Impressionists, drawing from Monet’s picturesque version of the Seine river and the beautiful light that bathes Normandy’s scenic coastline.
The major exhibitions this year include:
- Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts: Dazzling Reflections from April 29th to September 30th. Features 100 Impressionist masterpieces centering around images reflected in water.
- Caen, Musée des Beaux-Arts: A Summer at the Water’s Edge: Leisure and Impressionism from April 27th to September 29th. Explores the introduction of the human figure into landscapes through the canvas of 80 paintings depicting people enjoying themselves near bodies of water.
- Le Havre, Musée André Malraux: Pissarro and the Ports: Rouen, Dieppe, Le Havre from April 27th to September 29th. Showcases the series by Pissarro featuring industrial ports, as well as the work of his contemporaries who evolved the trend.
- Giverny, Musée des Impressionnismes: Signac, the Colours of Water from March 29th to July 2nd. Displays Signac's works and their brilliant conveyance of the play of light with water.
- Giverny, Musée des Impressionnismes: Hiramatsu, the Lily Pond: Homage to Monet from July 13th to October 31st. Delves into the Japanese influence on Monet's art, with modern works by Hiramatsu combining the schools of Impressionism and Japanism.
In addition to visits of the beautiful gardens and landscapes that inspired the painters, over 600 events will be held across Normandy from April to September, with art installations, special film screenings, and dejeuners sur l’herbe picnics held beside the river. Concerts will be held on waterfronts throughout the region. In June, painters of all skill-levels are invited to bring their easels to the water and create their own works of art. The Grand Hotel in Cabourg will be lit up every Sunday throughout the summer, showcasing the roaring 20s era of seasisde bathing. The festival also brings young local talent to the forefront by showcasing the works of students in the region.