Normandy Impressionist Festival
Painting, contemporary art, cinema, photography, music, literature…. With its programme open to all art forms, as well as including entertaining and convivial events, the first Festival Normandie Impressionniste enjoyed great success in 2010 with more than one million visitors.
The second edition of the festival has water as its common thread
An element that is dear to artists and indissociable from Normandy, the cradle of Impressionism. With its changing skies, green valleys of the Seine and 600-odd kilometres of coastline, Normandy undeniably has a strong association with water. Sudden spells of blue sky, crashing waves, peaceful bends of the river, and pleasant ponds and pools – in this sparkling and ever-changing setting, the Impressionists, painters of light and the ephemeral, found water a powerful source of inspiration. Featuring landscapes and scenes of daily life, this edition of Normandie Impressionniste will pay tribute to a theme at the heart of their work.
A Masterly programme
For this new edition, four major exhibitions will be co-produced with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux.
- Reflected Colour – Impressionism on the Water’s Surface, mountedat the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, will bring together works by five great painters (Monet, Pissarro, Caillebotte, Renoir and Sisley) focusing on the motif of water.
- Also at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, before itmoves to the Musée des Pêcheries de Fécamp, the exhibition The Cliffs of Monet, Those Other Cathedrals will introduce visitors to lesser known paintings that today are considered to be the among most beautiful and accomplished of the artist’s works.
- Summer at the Water’s Edge – Leisure and Impressionism at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caenwill bring together 80 paintings celebrating a trend that blossomed rapidly in the second half of the nineteenth century, that of leisure activities related to water. Thus we will see scenes of the joys of seaside bathing, canoeing and sailing… outdoor activities that allowed the Impressionists to integrate the human figure into their cherished landscapes.
- Pissarro and the Ports at the Musée d’art moderne André Malraux in Le Havre will present those works of Pissarro centred fully on an urban theme.
Other cultural centres in Normandy will also be celebrating this multifaceted theme. The Musée des Impressionnismes in Giverny will be holding the exhibition Signac, the Colours of Water as well as a tribute to Monet’s famous Lilies by the contemporary Japanese painter Hiramatsu Reiji. The Seine in the work of Victor Hugo, water in the paintings of Maurice Denis, the Impressionist sensibility of Christian Dior, the motif of rain among painters, the earliest photographs of the Côte Fleurie, and the Orne Valley seen by the photographer Olivier Mériel will be some of the many other exhibitions to discover in Granville, Cherbourg, Vernon, Evreux, Pont-Audemer, Saint-Lô, Trouville and Jumièges.
More than 600 events across Normandy
From April to September 2013, the public will be regaled with more than 600 events in the domains of photography, contemporary art (with installations by artists of international standing in the streets of Rouen in the festival Rouen Impressionnée), music, with the Musicales de Normandie, cinema (with notably a presentation of the film La Belle Nivernaise, a silent film by Jean Epstein, accompanied by a live performance of a sound-track composed specially by pianist Jean-François Zygel and played by the orchestra of the Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie), readings, lectures, symposia and performances, and festive events like the Fêtes de la Peinture and the open-air cafés and dance halls and déjeuners sur l’herbe beside the river