Artist's haunts around Paris
France > Paris > Surroundings > Artist's haunts
For painters in search of visual inspiration, the countryside around Paris began to take a primary role in the late nineteenth century. Many a Paris-based artist left the city, either on a day jaunt or on a more permanent basis, in search of direct sunlight, clouds and the effect of light on water. The towns along the banks of the Seine read like a roll-call of the Musée d'Orsay's Impressionist paintings, and pockets of unchanged towns and scenery remain. Local museums, set up to record these pioneering artistic days, are well worth a visit, particularly in Auvers-sur-Oise and the island of Chatou.
To explore further, around Bougival, Louveciennes and Le Port-Marly, contact the tourist office in Marly, 2 av des Combattants (tel 01.30.61.61.35), which produces an Impressionist trail leaflet and map. If you're willing to roam a little further afield, excursions can also be made to Barbizon, home to the influential Barbizon group, and to Monet's studio and Japanese-style garden at Giverny, in Normandy, where he lived and painted his experimental waterlily sequences.