Normandy is considered to be the cradle of Impressionism: it was here that Monet not only chose to live much of his life finding inspiration for his works but also created the painting that gave the movement its name, Impression, soleil levant.
It is therefore possible to retrace the fundamental stages of Impressionism in Normandy by following the places portrayed by the famous authors.
Here the great painter produced some of his most famous works such as Water Lilies and Green Harmony.
Along this verdant valley are towns and villages with close links to Impressionism: Sisley, Pisarro, Monet drew inspiration here.
This ancient and fascinating city has always enchanted artists and writers. After Corot, Monet began his famous series of Rouen cathedrals, on the St Catherine’s side, immortalised at all hours of the day and seasons to capture the variation of light.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the fashion for sea bathing began, imported from England and Dieppe’s tourism and arts grew. Among the guests: Delacroix, the leader of Romanticism, whose painting, watercolour and oil, revolutionised landscape art and paved the way for Impressionism, but also Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Gauguin, Degas.
The greatest artistic activity of the Impressionists in Normandy was concentrated here: Monet spent the winter of 1868 immortalising Etretat in all weathers. But his friend Courbet, Caillebotte and Boudin also chose to paint here.
Before its modern imprint, Le Havre attracted romantic painters: Turner and Boudin painted their most famous watercolours here.
Trouville, a fishing village, frequented by painters in search of authenticity and solitude such as Corot, Isabey or Mozin, and writers such as Dumas and Flaubert was to be a source of inspiration for Monet, Caillebotte and Boudin.