All the Impressionists (Gauguin, Renoir, Van Gogh, Utrillo, Dufy, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Signac, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Daubigny, Sisley) lived and painted in or around Paris before going on to discover new environments, new skies and new light.
The region around Paris became within easy reach of impoverished artists thanks to the new railways. They were attracted to the river Seine and its valley where the light can be clear or misty, the sky clear blue, with light clouds or grey heralding rain and snow.
AUVERS SUR OISE
The Impressionist “spectacle” at the Château provides a wonderful, easy to grasp overview of the Impressionist movement. It is the perfect introduction to the subject. Also at Auvers sur Oise you can visit Doctor Gachet’s home, as well as Van Gogh’s room at the Auberge Ravoux and his tomb. Enjoy a visit of Maison Daubigny, still occupied by Daubigny’s descendents. Lunch options include the Auberge Ravoux or Hostellerie du Nord, where Cézanne stayed.
In addition to Monet’s house and celebrated garden, visit the Musée des impressionnismes. It is a good idea to check their website for current exhibitions. Also be careful of opening hours as it is closed over winter. If you’d like to continue on to Normandy, we have a four-day itinerary you can check out.
The area around Vaucresson, Louveciennes and Bougival in the suburbs of Paris is known as “The Impressionist country”.
Walk from the Château de Croissy, along the banks of the Seine, across the Pont de Bougival to the Ile de Croissy where you will find the site of the “ginguette” La Grenouilliere, the setting of many famous paintings by Courbet, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and many others.
Continuing along the towpath, you’ll come to Renoir’s favorite bistrot on the Ile de Croissy – La Fournaise – the perfect place to enjoy lunch overlooking the Seine.