It was a gray day with intermittent drizzle when I visited Rouen. That wonderful, vibrant Impressionist sunlight remained hidden behind blanketing clouds, elusive. As I wandered dark cobblestoned streets with crooked Tudor painted-wood framed houses, outlined in deep colors with light between borders, I pictured shadowy figures slipping in between doorways. This post continues my pilgrimage to French towns that inspired the Impressionist artists. Previous posts in this series: Cézanne in Aix, Paris as a base, and Van Gogh in Auvers.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen that Monet painted so many times was partially being restored, so parts of it were covered. Musée de Beaux Arts featured many Sisley and Pissaro works, so light and fresh looking on the canvas, after a day of dreary rain. There was only one of Monet’s paintings of the church and it was the same kind of day—all grays, just the way I saw it.
Another French town that has been immortalized in oils, Le Havre was my farthest destination, taking me out to the coast at the mouth of the Seine, small boats dotting the horizon. That was another rainy day, not good for photographs but a little imagination helped to see the beauty it might have been in the artist’s eye on a lighter day.
The museum, Musée d’art moderne André Malraux known as MuMa, reputedly second only to Paris in its Impressionist collection, was my reward. I walked up to the beach at Sainte Adresse along the English Channel coastline, a rocky beach where white cabanas lined up. Fresh caught seafood at a café, a good day all in all, despite the weather.
To be continued… Monet in Giverny
Please do not download or reproduce images from this site. ©
Your comments are welcome!
Email me at: Ruth@RuthRosenfeld.com