Follow in the footsteps of the Impressionists
Half way between Pontoise and Auvers-sur-Oise, in the heart of the impressionists’ land, explore the rural countryside pathways as did in their time Van Gogh, Pissaro, Cezanne, Daubigny and many others. Whether to enjoy contact with nature and fresh countryside air, to experiment painting outdoor on the motif outside the teaching of official schools, to capture fugitive light whose nature fascinated them, or simply for financial difficulties, the impressionist painters settled in the surroundings of Paris, near Fontainebleau forest, the meanders of the Seine, or the edges of the Oise river.
Daubigny chose to make Auvers-sur-Oise his permanent residence from 1960. Berthe Morisot, following Corot’s advice, rented a house for the summer at the so-called Chou hamlet close to Auvers-sur-Oise. From 1866 to 1869, Pissaro lived in a housing situated at number 1, Rue du Fond de l’Hermitage. Then he is known to have occupied several houses from 1872 over a period of 10 years. Cezanne first kept an apartment at Saint-Ouen l’Aumône, then he came to live in Auvers-sur-Oise where he settled in 1881 at 31, Quai de Porthuis, following doctor Gachet’s advice. Gachet was a recent resident himself in Auvers. As for Pissaro, he found lodgings at Osny-sous-Bois close to Pontoise in 1882, his last residence before he moved to Eragny-sur-Epte, a village where Van Gogh came to paint regularly between the years 1886 and 1888.
In 1890, Van Gogh stayed at the auberge Ravoux where he rented a room, room number 5, which is where he committed suicide. This room is now open to the public and the restaurant below still serve meals. The visit is highly recommended in the middle of the week. If we look at the impressionists’ masterpieces, we realize they had diverse sources of inspiration: first city life, city scenes and metropolitan views, the suburbs and industrial modernization. They chose modern life as a subject matter, their favourite themes being the street, cabarets and seaside resorts. Their other source of inspiration was nature. They painted village inns and churches, the countryside, and took their paint-boxes on the edges of rivers to capture the reflection of light on the water. They painted guinguettes too where working class people came to relax on Sunday from the strain of the capital.
We highly recommend you to start your visit at the tourist office in Pontoise. They provide useful information too on their website : http://www.ot-cergypontoise.fr
CAROLINE, FR, 2016
BERTRAND, FR, 2016
LEILA, GERMANY, 2014
SUZANNE, UK , 2014