If you like the Impressionists and prefer the intimate atmosphere of a small private museum, it’s still time to visit the exhibition ” The Impressionists in Normandy, an outdoor studio”, at the Jacquemart Andre museum, located on Haussmann boulevard, not far from the Champs Elysées. It will close on July 25th.
The museum was the house of the Jacquemart Andre family, It was built at the end of the 19 th century and it reflects the taste and way of life of rich families of that time. They loved art, italian Renaissance as well as french 17th or 18th century. as you will notice while visiting the museum.
Temporary exhibitions are regularly held on the premises. Right now it’s “the Impressionists in Normandy, the outdoor studio”.
50 prestigious masterpieces have been gathered from american and european, private or public collections. The goal is to give the visitors a full insight of this new pictural genre, at the time : outdoor landscape painting. Before, all the landscape paintings were done in the studio of the painter.
It had started in England in the 1820’s. Lots of landscape painters from Great Britain, like Turner, visited Normandy, while painters, Delacroix, Gericault, Isabey, went to England to study the english landscape painting school. These exchanges between the british and french painters gave birth to a french school of landscape painting which attracted a new generation of french painters, like Corot, Millet, Daubigny…
This artistic revolution culminated, at the beginning of the years 1860, with the meetings of St Simeon, in Honfleur, Normandy. They were attended by all the top painters of the time, Boudin, Monet, Jongkind and many others. They were celebrated by the poet Baudelaire.
During many decades, thanks to these St Simeon meetings, Normandy became the favorite outdoor studio of the Impressionists. They loved the beauty and diversity of the Normandy landscapes, the light, which was very important for them and had a special quality in this region, the rich architectural heritage. It was of easy access from Paris, by boat, stage coach or train, and from London also, which was the other artistic capital of the time.`It also attracted a wealthy clientele, which was discovering the pleasure of bathing in the sea and interested in this new kind of painting.