top of page

Impressionist Normandy: the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen.

On May 13, participants in the "Normandy Impressionist" trip will visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen.

Created by decree in 1801, the Rouen Museum of Fine Arts first opened its doors in the Jesuit church before moving to the new Town Hall in 1809. It was in 1888 that the complex which currently houses its collections and exhibitions, designed by the architect Louis Sauvageot, is inaugurated.

Restored in 1994, the museum houses one of the most prestigious public collections in France, from the 15th century to the present day. The donation of François Depeaux in 1909 made it possible to establish in Rouen the first Impressionist collection in France outside Paris.

Let's savor a preview of this superb visit through three works on display at the museum...

Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen © Musées de la Ville de Rouen . Agence la Belle Vie
Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen © Musées de la Ville de Rouen . Agence la Belle Vie
La maison des familles Monet et Hoschedé à Vétheuil de nos jours.
Claude Monet. Vue générale de Rouen. 1892. Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen

This view of Rouen in a golden mist from which the cathedral emerges was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in 1995. Claude Monet applied light touches to it, the contrasts of which identify the different planes. The gaze is focused on the steeples which emerge in ocher tones which form a soft transition between the dark colors of the foreground and the luminous sky in the background.

This painting prefigures the famous series of "Cathedrales", these 30 canvases painted by Claude Monet between 1892 and 1894.

Alfred Sisley. Inondations à Port-Marly. 1876. Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen
Alfred Sisley. Inondations à Port-Marly. 1876. Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen

Alfred Sisley lived in Marly-le-Roi for three years, from 1875 to 1878. He was thus able to paint the floods of the Seine six times there. This painting shows the premises of a wine merchant surrounded by a mirror of water whose choppy water seems to rock the boats under a sky full of gray clouds. A young woman takes the thin footbridge that gives access to the house, under the gaze of a man standing on a boat, gaff in hand. The calm and heavy atmosphere is rendered by delicate touches, the use of ocher, green and gray tones, the fleeting perspective of the body of water in what remains a masterpiece of mastery and finesse.

Camille Pissarro. Le pont Boieldieu à Rouen, soleil couchant, temps brumeux. 1896. Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen
Camille Pissarro. Le pont Boieldieu à Rouen, soleil couchant, temps brumeux. 1896. Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen

In 1896, Camille Pissarro moved to Rouen. From his hotel, he overlooks the Seine and its bridges. This painting exerts the influence of a world in full transformation, with all-powerful industry symbolized by the smoking chimneys that literally cover the entire background of the painting. The pointillist influence is obvious and the use of glowing tones that contrast with the shadows of dusk gives this canvas exceptional strength and life.


To be continued... in the footsteps of Monet and his impressionist friends.

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...



Comments


bottom of page