Along the Banks of the Seine around Paris, eight new Impressionist Trails, or Chemins des Impressionnistes, encourage you to explore riverside scenes painted by the likes of Renoir, Sisley, Monet and Pissarro. More than 50 panels, put up in the very spots where so many Impressionists, their forebears, or their heirs set up their easels, display reproductions of works that these artists executed here, showing how the local landscapes inspired some of their most famous canvases.

Download these trails via the app Outdoor Active. For the more sporty, a hiking trail a bit over 30km in length leads from Carrières-sur-Seine to L’Étang-la-Ville, while shorter walking trails are dotted around the areas of Chatou, Croissy-sur-Seine, Le Pecq, Le Port-Marly, Louveciennes and Marly-le-Roi.

The Impressionists at Carrières-sur-Seine

Just northeast of Chatou, Carrières-sur-Seine boasts former stone quarries that are now home to (among others) the association Sequana, specialising in the restoration of old-style vessels made for boating on the Seine, so enjoyed by many a painter at the end of the 19th century. Homes here dug partly into the rockface and partly made from the typical local white stone were depicted by the likes of Monet and then Vlaminck. At the end of this walk, enjoy the public gardens beside the Seine, providing a delightful place to stop, with water features and views onto the mighty river that so inspired the Impressionists.

Renoir in Chatou

The starting point for this trail is located on the Île des Impressionnistes, at the Hameau Fournaise, on the very spot where Renoir painted his famed Déjeuner des canotiers (Luncheon of the Boating Party) in 1880-1881. A devoted regular at the restaurant Maison Fournaise, he made several portraits of Alphonsine, the then proprietor’s daughter, and would go on to meet Aline Charigot here, the woman who would become his wife. The renowned address now also contains the Musée Fournaise, bearing witness to this golden era along the Banks of the Seine.

Monet and Renoir in Croissy-sur-Seine

Starting from the Parc du Prieuré public gardens, this trail leads you in Monet’s footsteps. During the summer of 1869, he often went walking along the Banks of the Seine around here with Renoir. The two artists delighted in depicting the same themes, working side by side. It was here, in fact, that they adopted this “bold yet relaxed” method so characteristic of the Impressionists. Head on to La Grenouillère to savour its Belle Époque atmosphere, to be experienced through canvases, engravings, objects and films displayed not far from the famed historic guinguette (waterside inn) of the same name at the Musée de la Grenouillère, set within the walls of the Château Chanorier.

From Turner to Denis and de Vlaminck, at Le Pecq

Beginning at Saint-Germain-en-Laye train station, this trail guides you down via the historic quarter of Le Pecq to the banks of the Seine. Then cross the river to reach Le Vésinet – Le Pecq station. Wandering along this way, discover related works by the great English painter Turner, a precursor of Impressionism, as well as by post-Impressionists Maurice Denis and Maurice de Vlaminck.

Corot and Sisley at Port-Marly

Leading you along the towpath, then through the streets of Port-Marly, this trail takes you via many places depicted by Sisley, who executed a series of seven canvases here that count among his most famous, including L’inondation à Port-Marly (Flooding at Pont-Marly). The artist was in fact so inspired by seeing the Seine in spate here that four canvases from his series were given exactly the same title! Before Sisley, the artist Corot had been enchanted by this waterside village that so incites visitors to wander along beside the river and he depicted the place memorably in his work Le tournant de la Seine à Port-Marly (The Bend in the Seine at Pont-Marly).

Louveciennes and the Impressionists

Coming to visit Renoir at his parents’ home here, Sisley and Pissarro were struck by how much the village of Louveciennes felt protected from the chaos of modern Parisian life. The three artists enjoyed painting here, observing the effects of rain on the cobbles, of snow, or of the iridescence of the Seine’s waters. Reproductions of the fruits of their labours are dotted along this Louveciennes Impressionist trail.

Sisley and Cassatt at Marly-le-Roi

This trail starts from Marly-le-Roi’s town hall (Mairie), taking you in the footsteps of Impressionists, notably Sisley and Pissarro, but also Mary Cassatt, who all wandered around this charming little town in search of inspiration. The Parc de Marly is a public park on the site of one of Louis XIV’s major but long-demolished palaces, while the historic village with its steep streets and colourful houses featured in Impressionist canvases, now reproduced along the way, enabling you to envision all this rich local heritage as it would have looked in the late 19th century.

The Nabis at L’Étang-la-Ville

Taking a quite different tack from the Impressionists, the Nabis group of artists sought inspiration from nature, so not in order to reveal impressions and emotions reflected in it, but rather to extract a form of abstraction from nature. Their paintings tended towards the esoteric, exploiting fantastical mythological subjects. The village and orchards of L’Étang-la-Ville greatly inspired both Roussel and Vuillard. Wandering along this latest Impressionist trail, enjoy exploring bucolic landscapes so close to Paris.



Practical informations
Office de tourisme intercommunal Saint Germain boucles de Seine

Jardin des arts, 3 rue Henri IV78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Tel. :+33 (0)1 30 87 20 63

And also

Practical informations
Office de tourisme intercommunal Saint Germain boucles de Seine

Jardin des arts, 3 rue Henri IV78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Tel. :+33 (0)1 30 87 20 63

All events