Country Side by Monet : View At Rouelles, Le Havre.

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Impressionist Motifs & Effects 

In Norman Country 

If you come to Normandy, you must know. 

You must know how the Impressionists -- painters, but also writers, musicians, sculptors and even filmmakers worked, how they approached the motif, what they thought and how they felt when faced with certain effects.

And if you cannot come to Rouen, in Normandy, one of the landmarks of Impressionism, you must also know.

These books are much more than enhanced e-books; they echoes Baudelaire's famous verse: « Perfumes, colors and sounds correspond ».

Extract From NORMANDY…

When was Impressionism born? The question has occupied many a mind since that day in November 1872 when, at 7:35 in the morning, Monet painted a red dot and its reflection onto the bay of the outer harbor. Sitting in a room of the Hôtel de l’Amirauté, at No. 43, Grand Quai, now the quai Southampton, Claude was certainly not aware of the great upheaval he was about to initiate, and was certainly not tormented by the origins of a movement in the making. Although experts have long studied the painting of the Musée Marmottan and partially solved its date of birth, there still remains reasonable doubt as to the eponymous work. Is the right one in the Parisian museum, as is commonly thought, or the one shown in California?

The interview conducted by Maurice Guillemot in March 1898 made waves – a Cartesian topic: I sent [to the exhibition on boulevard des Capucines in 1874] something I had done in Le Havre – misty sunlight with a few ship masts pointing through in the foreground... 

A few ship masts pointing through in the foreground... Not a small scull boat. This foreground turned everything upside down. One might argue, of course, that the author of the painting shared false evidence or an inaccurate memory.

Let us rule out this hypothesis for the time being. If we examine the different catalogs of the exhibitions linked to the group of the “Intransigents,” we see that whenever Monet participated, he never presented the same work twice. But the “Marmottan” Impression, which successively belonged to Hoschedé and de Bellio (cf. Paris Motifs et Effets Impressionnistes), is featured in the catalog of the fourth Impressionist exhibition in 1879. So we have reason to doubt.

So how important must we consider the “mystery of the eponymous work”? Clearly Monet doesn’t make a big fuss out of it. At the dawn of the twentieth century, it was probably hard to measure the scope and importance of an artistic movement that went beyond the framework of painting, threw auctions into a panic and drew millions of people to the emblematic sites where this new way of painting was born... in Ville-d’Avray in 1867. Why Ville-d’Avray rather than Le Havre? Why Le Havre rather than Argenteuil or the boulevard des Capucines?  



Impressionist Motifs  & Effects

Giverny, one hour from Paris, is one of the most popular destinations in France.... Why?

The reasons for visiting may vary.

To pay homage to Monet, the father of impressionism; a movement embracing almost all the arts (music, literature, cinema, sculpture) ?

To discover the motifs that inspired somme of the most famous paintings in the world ?

Or, like Marcel Proust to search for a time lost, where nature and man come together to bring us images of the beauty that surrounds us ?

This guide help you get the most from your visit and answers the questions above… but sometimes the answers are surprising.

Extract From GIVERNY…

«If you must absolutely, and for the mere sake of it, find an affiliation, associate me with the ancient Japanese: the singularity of their tastes has always entertained me, and I approve of the suggestions of their aesthetics, which suggests presence through shadow and wholeness through fragmentation. 

Hiroshige, Hukosai, Ukiyo-e or “picture of the floating world”: the Land of the Rising Sun opens up to us as we enter the painter’s home in Giverny.

Everyone, so to speak, knows about his collection of Japanese prints, or at least has heard about them.

The following is a conversation between the painter of the Water Lilies and Marc Elder in 1924:  “In La 628-E8, Octave Mirbeau mentioned how you discovered Japan in Zaandam, in a pile of prints that a grocer used to wrap up his goods.”

“ That is not quite what happened. Mirbeau often alters matters to spice up his narrative. Or perhaps his memory failed him... In truth, I was familiar with Japanese prints well before 1886, the year I went painting in Holland. I had started my collection some time before. What is true, however, is that I was lucky enough to stumble upon a pack[…]»