Welcome to the heart of Impressionism and our Impressionist destination! Here in Normandy, Paris and the Paris Region, marvel at the widest array of Impressionist paintings in the world. Visiting these parts, experience the intense sensations that inspired our great artists.  So, get ready for your own Impressionist adventures, following in the footsteps of the likes of Monet, Renoir, Morisot, Degas, Sisley and Pissarro!  

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1 - The impressionist destination par excellence

Impressionism is inextricably linked with the French regions that witnessed the famed art movement’s birth and blossoming – Normandy, Paris and the Paris Region. The artists involved headed out in search of freedom and modernity, leaving their studios to go and paint in the open (en plein air), be it in a Paris fizzing with creative energy, by the Seine, or along the Normandy coast. Today, our destination provides visitors with exclusive Impressionist experiences, offering over 100 associated activities or places to visit. These are dotted across nine distinct areas and include houses where the artists lived and had their studios, museums displaying their masterpieces, landscapes that they painted, artists’ villages, exceptional exhibitions and events, and related trails, tours, cruises and stays…

2 - The largest permanent collection of Impressionist works in the world

The largest Impressionist museums in Paris (the Orsay, the Marmottan Monet, the Orangerie…) and across Normandy (in Giverny, Rouen, Le Havre, Dieppe, Honfleur…) together can boast of offering the largest permanent Impressionist exhibition in the world, scattered across some 20 sites. The likes of Monet, Renoir, Degas, Morisot, Pissarro, Caillebotte and Sisley await you in these places, along with their precursors (such as Boudin, Daubigny or Corot) and their heirs (including Van Gogh, Luce, Seurat and Signac). Prepare for a great visual treat!

3 - Journey through unspoilt landscapes that conjure up the finest Impressionist paintings

Much more than simply offering you a journey back into the history of art, our Impressionist adventures incite you to immerse yourself in three-dimensional, living “paintings” that will awaken all your senses. Whether in urban settings or unspoilt countryside, on the banks of the Seine or along the coast, in the heart of classified forests or intimate gardens, these highly evocative spots have, for the most part, remained pretty much intact. Going to these places yourself enables you to experience unique moments of contemplation, transporting you back in time as you feel the inspiration of the Impressionist spirit.

4 - Artists’ houses plunging you into the everyday lives of great Impressionist painters

The Impressionists explored every corner of Normandy, Paris and the Paris Region in their artistic quest, looking for the best places to paint outdoors (en plein air), but some of them settled down in specific spots, the houses they chose now open to visitors. These homes have been lovingly restored to preserve their period spirit. Visiting them gives you a sense of the everyday lives of these artists, such as Millet both in Gréville-Hague and in Barbizon, Caillebotte in Yerres, Monet in Giverny, or Van Gogh at the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise.

5 - Recreating the impressionists’ joie de vivre, en plein air

So many Impressionist paintings depict scenes reflecting the period’s outdoors joie de vivre: the delights of outings to France’s earliest seaside resorts; picnics in the country; the party atmosphere at guinguettes, those relaxed waterside restaurants by the sea, or by the Seine in bohemian Paris… This joyous way of life continues to this day across the different areas of our Impressionist destination. Relish invigorating experiences, following the Impressionists’ example! Why not go on a cycling tour around Giverny, Monet’s adoptive village? Or set up your easel en plein air on the heights above Étretat or Honfleur? Or immerse yourself in Impressionist landscapes by taking a river cruise on the Seine or going canoeing at Moret-sur-Loing?

6 - Artistic pleasures to savour at restaurant tables

Whether you think back to Renoir’s Déjeuner de canotiers or to Monet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe, gastronomy featured large in Impressionism! A good number of restaurants celebrated by such Impressionist painters proudly maintain their artistic connections, offering evocative cuisine in historic settings. From the Restaurant Fournaise at Chatou to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise, via the Hôtel Baudy in Giverny or the Ferme Saint-Siméon beside Honfleur, book a table at any of these establishments to dine with the Impressionists!

7 - Events and new possibilities to discover year after year

Our Impressionist destination is full of life and regularly reinvents itself! Every year, an array of Impressionist painters is put to the fore in exciting exhibitions that throw new light on the ground-breaking art movement. We frequently add new Impressionist walks, excursions and activities to our selection, while new sites also open their doors, enriching our destination’s wide palette, celebrating the likes of Monet, Renoir and Degas, but many more artists too… In 2024, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Impressionism, an exceptional programme has been put together, featuring over 200 events which you can discover by looking through our dedicated diary.