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Your project inside a painting
The most attractive destinations in the world are recommended by the painters. That is why we invite you to visit the virtual art gallery dedicated to the picturesque Normandy. We will start off with the painting by Vasily Polenov that reminds us of a remarkable exhibition of his artworks which took place in Moscow in 2019-2020. His Normandy landscape "In the park" seems to entice us to begin the promenade in the ancient park and go down towards La Manche.

So, let's start our journey through Normandy with Gustave Courbet, William Turner and Gustave Caillebotte!
Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov
In the park. The town of Vohl in Normandy. 1874
Étretat and Gustave Courbet
The view of the majestic cliffs of Étretat was celebrated by renowned artists but it was Gustave Courbet who demonstrated a new approach to a seascape portrayal with his creative work laying a bridge between the outgoing romanticism and emerging impressionism. In just two months, Courbet was able to create the unparalleled series of seascapes – about 30 paintings with sea and cliffs images of Étretat from different perspectives and times of day. His artworks became the source of inspiration for Claud Monet's "Water Lilies" series and "Rouen Cathedral" and also Paul Cézanne's series of paintings with Mountain Sainte-Victoire.
Gustave Courbet
The Cliffs of Étretat after the Storm. 1870
The realism of Courbet's landscapes generated controversy in the academic circles throughout his entire life. Richard Muther observed: "He was hated because, in perfect mastery, he wrote as naturally as others eat, drink, or talk".
Gustave Courbet
The Cliffs of Étretat. 1870
Courbet worshipped the sea as a painter and reveled in it as a swimmer – he took pleasure in swimming for hours in the cold sea. One day he saved a young man who passed out 300 meters from the beach. Edouard Manet left the following words about Gustave Courbet: "When it comes to water – he is the Raphael of water. He knows its every movement – at the deep or in the shallows, at any time of the day".
Gustave Courbet
Étretat under the Snow. 1870
After the display of Courbet's works with views of Étretat at the School of Fine Arts in Paris, these cliffs literally became the place of pilgrimage for many artists, including Polenov, Monet, Boudin and Matisse…
Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov
The Fisherman Boat. Étretat, Normandy. 1874
Claude Monet
Étretat. Sunset. 1883
Eugène Boudin
Étretat. The Cliff of Aval. 1890
Henri Matisse
The Cliffs at Étretat. 1920
You can also try yourself as a painter and draw a picture under the guidance of our wonderful artists that can give either individual or group master classes.
Le Havre and Claude Monet
Claude Monet spent his childhood in Le Havre and it was here that he painted "Impression, Sunrise". The painting was first shown to the general public at the famous exhibition in 1874 and, following the example of journalist Louis Leroy, the title of the artwork became the name of the "impressionism" movement, the representatives of which took part at this presentation. In his article dedicated to the exhibition, the journalist wrote: «A preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than this "Impression"!»
Claude Monet
Impression. Sunrise. 1872
Rouen and Camille Pissarro
Rouen was the beloved city of the impressionists – Gauguin, Sisley and Monet spent here entire months, while the latter devoted most of the time to the Rouen Cathedral, having made 30 paintings of it. Inspired by this series, Camille Pissarro had visited Rouen twice to draw the city landscapes.
Camille Pissarro
Rue de l'Épicerie, Rouen (Effect of Sunlight). 1898
Claude Monet
Rouen Cathedral, Full Sunlight. 1894
Giverny and Claude Monet again
Giverny is located halfway between Paris and Rouen. Over the years, Claude Monet lived and created here. And it was here that he painted his famous "Water lilies". The artist constantly draw inspiration from his garden about which he wrote: "… I had a revelation of my fabulous, wonderful pond. I took the palette and since that time I have almost never had any other model".
Claude Monet
Water Lilies Pond (Japanese Bridge). 1899
Dieppe, Eugène Delacroix and William Turner
Eugène Delacroix, who became world famous because of his painting "Liberty Leading the People", anticipated the development of the national landscape in France in the 19th century, while capturing the views of Normandy. His most renowned seascape, nowadays displayed in the Louvre, was painted in a small city of Dieppe, which was the main port in the 17th century France. It was from Dieppe that over 3 thousand Huguenots escaped to America after the Edict of Nantes was revoked.
Eugène Delacroix
The Sea from the Heights of Dieppe. 1852
William Turner painted "The Harbour of Dieppe" following his two visits to the town of Dieppe that became a popular seaside resort among the English people in the 19th century. Apart from Delacroix and Turner, Gauguin, Pissarro and Boudin had a passion for capturing the images of Dieppe. Today in the upper part of the city there is a castle museum with a beautiful collection of impressionists' paintings.
William Turner
The Harbour of Dieppe. Redocking. 1825
Honfleur and Eugène Boudin
Honfleur, a small picturesque port town, is called the cradle of impressionism. It is here that Eugène Boudin, who gave the first lessons in painting on plein air to the young Claude Monet, was born, grew up and created. Nowadays, there is the Eugène Boudin museum that contains about 2500 pieces of his artwork.
Eugène Boudin
Festival in the Harbor of Honfleur. 1858
Honfleur has a five-star hotel La Ferme Saint Siméon Relais & Châteaux, a former tavern and a gathering place for the famed impressionists. Today it is a gastronomic center of the whole region – a must stop for dinner during the journey along the cost.
Barfleur and Paul Signac
It is here, in a small port of Barfleur, listed as one of the prettiest villages in France, one must try the blonde wild mussels, main feature of the eastern coast of La Manche. The beaches and the constantly changing colours of the sky, another attraction of Barfleur, can be seen in the paintings of Paul Signac, who spent here the last years of his life.
Paul Signac
Barfleur. 1931
Trouville and Gustave Caillebotte
The beach of Trouville was considered the most beautiful one in France in the 19th century. Even to this day, it is dotted with cabanas, multicoloured umbrellas and decorated with wooden boardwalks. Many artists were inspired by its views, including Gustave Caillebotte, who painted the local villas bordering the beach and scenes of luncheon on the sand.
Gustave Caillebotte
The Beach at Trouville. 1882
Fécamp, Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot
The city of Fécamp, a seaside resort and home of the famous Bénédictine liqueur, was the main fishing port in France in the 11th -second half of 20th century. Among the big admirers of Fécamp, its baths and casino, were Edouard Manet and his brother's wife, the painter and model, Berthe Morisot.
Berthe Morisot
Harbour in the Port of Fécamp. 1874
Varengeville-sur-Mer and Georges Braque
The small city of Varengeville-sur-Mer with a breathtaking view over the bay of Dieppe as if floats between sky and sea and thus attracts a lot of artists even today. A little church sitting atop the cliffs is decorated with a stained glass by Georges Braque, one of the cubism founders.
Claude Monet
The Church at Varengeville, Morning. 1882