This morning was very cold, but rather than stay home (tough to do for me) I gather the gang and head out for the wonderful historical area of Pont Aven. An artists heaven for years.
The town is there since 1790, but did gather real fame until the American artists began to arrive in 1865. The American Henry Bacon was the first one, and describe the city as “Its the most beautiful village that I have ever saw until now, with its strange bridge below a river rapids that make turns several wheels of a windmills with the waters going to the ocean ,short distance away” Bacon while in Paris finds his friends Robert Wylie and Charles Way, both from the Philadelphia academy,and soon many others come from the USA,London, and the Nordic countries. Others follow such as local boy André Even, Marcel Gonzalez,writer and poet Xavier Grall (bust in main square and promenade after his name), the local heroe of WWII Daniel Lomenech, and the great Paul Gauguin, making 6 trips here from 1886 to 1894; and those that follow him,such as Cuno Amiet, Mogens Ballin, Emile Bernard,Robert Bevan, Ernest de Chamaillard,Henri Delavallee,Maurice Denis,Emile Dezaunay, Charles Filiger, Eric Forbes Robertson,Emile Jourdan, Charles Laval,Gustave Loiseau, Maxime Maufra, Jacob Meyer de Haan, Henry Moret, Roderic O’Conor, Ferdinand du Puigaudeau, George Rasetti, Louis Roy,Armand Seguin, Paul Serusier, and Wladyslaw Slewkinski. Too many to detail here but you can learn more now.
Next in fame here were the windmills or moulins; by 1880 ,there were 15 here, their names, Haut Bois, du Plessis,Moulin Neuf,Kermentec (painted by Gauguin in 1894), Kerniguez, Petit Poulguin,Pénanros,Scierie Brunou, Petite Tourte, Poulhoas,Rosmadec, Porte Neuve,Ty Meur,Grand Poulguin,and Petit Pénanros.
You have nearby the megaliths stones call Menhirs of Kerangosquer I, and the Dolmens of Kermac or Sainte Maudé. Walking from the rue des Meunières towards the place royale you have facades of nice homes from the 17 and 18C. There is a nice museum or musée de pont aven, with more than 1300 paintings of artist painters of the school of Pont-Aven, but is currently under construction until end 2014, the webpage is http://www.museepontaven.fr/
ahh you get here like me by car on the N165 to sortie or exit Kerandreo road D4, follow signs for Pont Aven,easy. or the train stops at Quimperlé or Quimper from Paris in about 4h20 mins. By bus you have regular lines from the train stations of Quimper or Quimperlé to Pont Aven, Pont Aven – Quimper : (1h10mn), Pont Aven - Quimperlé : (25mn) , get your bearings here http://www.breizhgo.com/
not a real tourist office webpage but the address is at 5 place de l’hôtel de ville 29930 Pont-Aven - Tél. +33 (0) 2 98 06 04 70 Fax.+33 (0) 2 98 06 17 25. Open all year Mondays to Saturdays from 10h-12h30 and 14h-18h. More in French at the Brittany tourist site, http://www.tourismebretagne.com/decouvrir/sites-insolites/pont-aven
One thing to bring back is painting from the sea scenes, and the Galerie Plisson, with branches in Brittany is my favorite, gorgeous paintings, here in Pont Aven they are at rue Emile Bernard , webpage http://www.plisson.com/c/381/p/94595a7414e8ff627e13ad0fb0404af5/Galerie-Plisson-Pont-Aven.html
The church of Saint Joseph was built in 1872 at Place de l’Eglise, smallist by local standards more like a chapel. You need to take the walk or promenade Xavier Grall along the river Aven and the windmills and river rapids, nice for a picnic in summer lol!
The highlight of the trip was to find another Chocolaterie Patisserie Larnicol chocolate store here, it is one of the original , George Larnicol was born in Quimper nearby. The store is right in city center at 4 Place Paul Gauguin . Lovely place with lots of chocolates, caramels, guimauds yummy gummy chocolates, fish shape chocolates and the kouignettes of many flavors is sublime!!! a must here/ Not to mention they have women clothing from the 1940-1980 for sale of American origins. Just one of our favorites in the area, webpage http://www.chocolaterielarnicol.fr/content/12-nos-magasins you can see he has expanded from his Breton base even to Paris.
Here are some pictures of my forays today. Enjoy them as I do.