My theme – “26 Things I’d Like To See During Our Trip To France”
I is for “L’Impressionnisme”
What is this? Qu’est-ce que c’est ?
In the 19th century, there was a group of artists in Paris who began to see and paint the world in a different manner than their contemporaries. They broke the rules, they tried to capture movement and light and they sometimes painted en plein air (outdoors) to better capture the changing light. They recorded impressions rather than strict details. The name of this movement was inspired by a work of Claude Monet, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, sunrise) (image
Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons ) My husband and I had a glimpse of this a few months ago at the Denver Art Museum, where we saw quite a few examples of the genre. But while we are in France, I’d like to see some more, in the place where it all started, and see some of the actual landscapes and places which inspired these artists.
The name “impressionist” was also given to a number of composers and writers during this time as well. I am particularly fond of some of the composers included in this group. Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel were the two most well-known of these. Debussy wrote what may well be the most famous orchestral flute solo of all time, which occurs at the beginning of his symphonic poem, “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune”, which was in turn inspired by the poem of the same name by the French poet Stephane Mallarmé.
Where is it? Où est-ce?
There are many places we can go to see examples of impressionist art, most notably le Musée d’Orsay and le Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, but also several places in Provence, like the town of Arles, or Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where Vincent Van Gogh was inspired to create some of his most well known paintings.
Why do I want to go there? Pourquoi est-ce que je veux y aller ?
Impressionism was born in Paris, inspired by France and its beau paysage (beautiful countryside). The real question is why *wouldn’t* I want to visit these places?
And you, dear A to Z-ers? Et vous ?
Are you fans of Impressionist artists, musicians, writers? What is it about this art that touches you? (or not?) Have you discovered other places or museums in France that feature them? Dites-moi ! (Tell me! 🙂 )