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To extend your Impressionist break outside Normandy

After Normandy, extend your discovery of the Impressionists in Paris and its surroundings. Paris’s great museums exhibit some of the most famous Impressionist works. The Ile de France region was a source of inspiration, and a holiday destination, for numerous painters.

Destination Impressionnisme


  • The Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay houses the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. It includes great masterpieces by Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Renoir and Degas. Of the 28 paintings of the façade of Rouen Cathedral, completed by Claude Monet, three are on display here.

  • The Musée de l’Orangerie

Situated in the Tuileries Garden, on the banks of the Seine, the Musée de l’Orangerie was chosen by Claude Monet as a home for his great Water Lily murals which he donated to France in 1918, to commemorate the return of peace. The eight tableaux, each 2 metres high, are displayed in two oval rooms.

  • The Musée Marmottan Monet

This museum holds the world’s largest single collection of works by Claude Monet. As well as his famous paintings Impression: Sunrise, and On the Beach at Trouville, there are his sketchbooks, palettes, letters, photographs and various personal objects belonging to the artist. The museum also includes a rich collection of works by Caillebotte, Degas, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley.


  • ‘Impressions of Paris’ cruise

The Seine was one of the subjects frequently depicted by the Impresionists. The ‘Impressions of Paris’ cruise reveals the capital as seen from the water, and touches on the work of different painters as the boat passes the spots that inspired them: the Pont-Neuf, where Renoir and Monet worked side by side; Chaillot hill (nowadays the Trocadéro), where Berthe Morisot came to paint; Notre-Dame cathedral, which inspired numerous artists, such as Jongkind, Lebourg, Marquet and others.


  • “In the Footsteps of Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise” guided tour

The village of Auvers-sur-Oise at one time welcomed Cézanne, Pissarro, Daubigny and Van Gogh. The tour explores the village’s historic sites: the church, Daubigny’s house and workshop, the house of Doctor Gachet, the cemetery, the banks of the Oise and more.

  • The Auberge Ravoux

This auberge was the final home of Van Gogh. Classified as a historical monument, it is the only one of Van Gogh’s former dwelling places that remains in its original state.

  • The Château d’Auvers

With its multimedia show ‘Travel back to the Time of the Impressionists’, the château plunges you into the world of the masters of light, explaining the turmoil in society at the end of the 19th century and its influence on the birth of the Impressionists, as well as the atmosphere in Paris during the great reconstruction supervised by Baron Haussmann. Explore the show’s themes through sound effects, videos and projections of paintings by Impressionist masters.



  • A walk around Barbizon

Between 1830 and 1875, the village of Barbizon was the principal dwelling place of painters who came to work in the forest, in search of new inspiration drawn from nature. So it was that the modest hamlet saw the birth of a French landscape movement known as the Barbizon school, where Millet, Corot or Théodore Rousseau established themselves as teachers for young artists such as Monet, Renoir and Sisley. The walk takes in the principal sites of the movement, including the Auberge Ganne, the chapel, the Théodore Rousseau museum, as well as Millet’s home and studio, as far as the edge of the forest.

  • Tour of the Departmental Museum of the Barbizon School

The Barbizon school museum is located in two places: the Auberge Ganne, which accommodated the famous landscape artists who were the forerunners of Impressionism, and the house and studio of Théodore Rousseau. There you can discover the warm atmosphere of the “painters of Ganne”, with furniture and painted decorative features, as well as about a hundred works by Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet and Narcisse Diaz de la Peña.

  • Jean-François Millet’s studio

Jean-François Millet lived and worked here from 1849 to 1875, the year of his death. It was in this studio that he painted scenes of rural life, including The Angelus, the Gleaners, The Man with the Hoe and The Sower. Within the walls of this period house are personal objects (letters, drawings, engravings etc) as well as a collection of original works by the former masters of the Barbizon school.

  • Guided tour ‘In the Footsteps of Sisley at Moret-sur-Loing’

This tour unveils the viewpoints that inspired the painter in this small medieval town, where the artist lived for 20 years until the end of his life. The medieval gates, the church of Notre Dame, the bridge and the banks of the Loing… nothing has changed from Sisley’s works to how things are today. Sisley’s life and the characteristics of his painting are also recalled during the walk.



  • Paris-Chatou cruise

The Seine and its festive stopping points were a common theme for the Impressionists. At the foot of the Musée d’Orsay, a return cruise to Chatou allows you to experience the joyful ambiance of dances and boating. The voyage through Paris, with its views of famous monuments, already makes for a memorable trip, but your arrival and lunch at the Ile of Chatou – the ‘Isle of Impressionists’ dear to Renoir, Sisley and Monet – will make this a real voyage into Impressionist times.

  • The Maison Fournaise restaurant

With its traditional French cooking, this restaurant was formerly a waterside “guingette” (tavern) frequented by painters, writers and bohemian society in the mid-19th century. It provided the natural backdrop for Renoir’s famous Boating Party Luncheon.

© Rico Büttner - Fotolia.com.jpg


(c) Pierre Jeanson

Fondation Monet - Giverny

© Normandie Tourisme

Carte Interactive