La vie est belle !

I is for L’Impressionnisme

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 ?

Claude Monet, Impression, soleil levant, 1872

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.

Another “impressionist” place for me might be the Musée Claude Debussy in Saint Germain-en-Laye, his birthplace. It doesn’t hurt that there is also a beautiful Château there.

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! 🙂 )


17 Responses to “I is for L’Impressionnisme”

  1. halleygentil

    Impressionism is my favorite style! LOVE LOVE LOVE the Monet museum and Musee d’Orsay. Both are definitely worth your time!! Good choices!


  2. Rhonda Parrish

    My husband and daughter are the artists in the family, so while they can appreciate artwork on multiple levels which are inaccessible to me having them around does expose me to more art than I might otherwise come across. I *do* like some of Monet’s work and I’d love to go to France, but for me those two things are not connected 🙂


  3. Sammy D.

    You have such a treat in store for you. Both d;Orsay and Musee Monet were well worth the wait in line (which you can cut considerably by buying a certain pass, the details of which I’ve forgotten, but I bet you’ve already researched; let me know and I can dig through my memorabilia). If I remember correctly d’Orsay has a sculpture garden in the back. The day we were there was cloudy and misty, so no one else ventured into the garden and we had these breathtaking sculptures, trees, benches and QUIET CONTEMPLATION all to ourselves. One of those magical moments.


    • jetgirlcos

      Oh, how wonderful to have such a moment ! Lucky! I’m definitely going to look online for the pass, but I’ll let you know if I can’t find it. Thanks for the tip! 🙂


    • jetgirlcos

      Thanks for visiting! I checked out your “A to Z” fairy tale stories…so cute! Sorry for not putting a comment there, but I couldn’t figure out how to without a G+ 😦 Anyway, they are super fun stories!


    • jetgirlcos

      Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll bet you’d know all the names of the plants in those gardens 🙂 Thanks for visiting!



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