Following the footsteps of Impressionists in Normandy, France

Here is a sample of Normandy tour we’ve done for clients. Day 1. Transfer from Paris or CDG airport to Bayeaux. Day 2.  9:00 AM  h, your private driver and..

Here is a sample of Normandy tour we’ve done for clients.

Day 1. Transfer from Paris or CDG airport to Bayeaux.

Day 2.  9:00 AM  h, your private driver and licensed regional guide, will greet you in the lobby of the Lion d’Or (or similar hotel)  and accompany you on  a special day through Normandy walking through the footsteps of the greatest Impressionists known. You will be invited to admire the same timeless landscapes as the Impressionists in the late 19th c. 

Normandy was, for most artists, their birthplace and home. Its proximity to Paris together with the burgeoning number of fashionable seaside resorts like Dieppe, Honfleur, Le Havre, Deauville or Trouville, along its coast meant that artists came to the region by train and stayed, producing an artistic legacy which would be hard to rival anywhere.

Breaking away from the more formalized and classical themes of the early part of the 19th century, the Impressionist painters preferred to paint outdoors, in natural light, and to concentrate on landscapes, towns and scenes of daily life..

Leader of the movement, and father of modern painting, Claude Monet is perhaps one of the best known Impressionists and certainly a major character in Normandy’s artistic heritage.

Your first stop will be to Côte fleurie (Flowered coast) – Deauville, Trouville.

The coast between Trouville and Cabourg is a succession of 19th century seaside resorts popularised by the bourgeois trend for sea bathing. Scenes from the trendy seaside resorts of Deauville and Trouville were painted by a number of Impressionists, including The Beach at Trouville by Eugène Boudin (1893). Deauville’s sandy beach dotted with brightly coloured beach umbrellas, its white-washed bath houses and traditional boardwalk confer a timeless feel to this familiar scene. Monet also painted the famous seaside resort of Cabourg and its “Grand Hotel”, reflecting the varying moods of the sea and sky.

In Deauville, you will travel back in time to the 1860s, when the town was founded by the Duke de Morny. This tour will take you to see all the outstanding sights on which Deauville has built its international reputation and the more secluded places that make it the number one charming destination in Normandy.

Open-air painters and impressionists, designers, writers, photographers and film directors have all been inspired by Deauville, influenced by the sea and the light, the atmosphere and the ambiance of the town. We invite you to set off in the footsteps of the emblematic artists inspired by Deauville.

Through this special tour you will go to the places where the films were shot, the actors’ houses and listen to some anecdotes about films and the festivals in Deauville

Follow our guide to discover those personalities from the fashion sphere who left their mark on Deauville: Jeanne Paquin, Paul Poiret, Coco  Chanel, Jean Patou, Yves Saint Laurent, etc

After visiting Deauville and Trouville, you will follow the coast line to Honfleur.

Honfleur nestles between two hills, the Côte Vassale and the Côte de Grâce, where the landscape of the Pays d’Auge and the estuary of the River Seine meet. A charming fishing port with traditional Norman architecture, Honfleur looks much as it did when Monet was a frequent visitor. Honfleur-born Eugène Boudin was a strong influence on Claude Monet. Monet first met Boudin in Honfleur, and would subsequently drag the whole band of renegade artists – Courbet, Corot, Sisley, Pissarro and Renoir – to the Saint Simeon farm. From this promontory, they endlessly painted the colors of the Seine bay and surrounding area, earning them the title of “Estuary Painters”. Today, a number of these paintings are exhibited at the Eugène Boudin Museum.

Eugène Louis Boudin was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. His pastels, summary and economic, garnered the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire; and Corot called him the “king of the skies”. Boudin was the son of a harbor pilot, and at age 10 the young boy worked on a steamboat that ran between Le Havre and Honfleur. In 1857/58 Boudin befriended the young Claude Monet, then only 18, and persuaded him to give up his teenage caricature drawings and to become a landscape painter, helping to instill in him a love of bright hues and the play of light on water later evident in Monet’s Impressionist paintings. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin’s early influence. The Honfleur artist Eugène Boudin was a forerunner of Impressionism, and had a profound influence on Claude Monet.

Lunch: A table will await you at the Manoir des Impressionists

You will have the nicest table over looking the Estuary of Honfleur. The Manoir des Impressionists was an ‘Auberge’ or ‘hostel’ for the Impressionists painters coming from Paris. They would flock from Paris to Honfleur. Having little means, they would ‘stay weeks at a time together, painting furiously’ in and around the manoir des Impressionists. The owner of the Manoir will greet you. Her signature touch is the ‘warm and friendly, relaxed ambiance in a beautifully decorated manor’. It’s a ‘home away from home’ feeling.

Lunch is not included and to be paid on site. It is customary to pay for your guide’s lunch.

After lunch, you will continue the journey to Le Havre.

The Impressionists, attracted by the unique, ever-changing light play in the estuary, attempted to capture its colours on canvas. A chic 19th century seaside resort for Parisians, the town was also the summer home of Monet who frequently stayed, and worked, at his aunt’s house in Sainte-Adresse. Today, the Malraux Museum boasts a collection of Impressionist works rivaling Rouen’s Fine Arts Museum. These include paintings by Boudin, Courbet, Corot, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir, as well as some Post-Impressionist collections.

You will be returned to the Lion d’Or  at the end of the day.

This is a sample 1 day itinerary customized for each client. Contact us for more information and to design your private tour!