The inventors of landscapes !!

We live by the pictures/portraits of today but how they came into being so popular and use today by all. Let me indulge into my belle France and tell you the story of some of the precursors of this movement ; you might be surprise. This is for the history I like in my blog; will be in my black and white series ,no pictures.

The 19C with the Romantism the passage enter brutal to our society ; nature inspired painters and writers that for the first time told us about forests, fields, gardens, mountains, the sea coast to the look and sound of light and the seasons, In rupture with their academic world, the painters come out of their shops with their colors tables and pencils in hand to do their art in the open air.

We have Gustave Courbet meeting again his birthplace region in Franche-Comté and vallée de la Loue in Ornans. We follow the steps of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet leave Paris to go to Barbizon, The Impressionist movement is born.

Paul Gauguin takes refuge in Bretagne and take out picturesques views of Pont Aven. Others take the colors and picturesque views of the south of France, Vincent Van Gogh show his genious at Arles ; Paul Cezanne take his passion for the montagne Sainte-Victoire, André Derain and Henri Matisse invent the Fauvism thanks to the eclats of lights of Collioure.

In 50 years, the art and literature meet their revolution. The writers take long away from Paris , Victor Hugo tell us about the Vallée du Rhin and the cirque de Gavarnie. When the 20C arrived the Belle Epoque meets the fashion in the beach resorts. Marcel Proust write a good portion of his work La Recherche du temps perdu in the Grand Hotel of Cabourg, In Etretat, when the casino is full , saw the birth of one of the most celebrated personage the thief Arséne Lupin spiritual son of Maurice Leblanc.

During the summer of 1843 Victor Hugo travel in the Pyrénées with Juliette Drouet and comes to the cirque de Gavarnie, and the cascade of Arroudet, the chaos of Coumély and its menacing rocks fallen on the river. He said «  It is a mountain, a wall at the same time, it is a building the most mysterious of the mysterious of architects, the Colosseum of nature »

Paul Cézanne immortalise the montagne Saint Victoire. A child of the country of Aix he was attracted to this mountain. He gave it 44 oils paintings and 43 aquarelles ! After him, the mountain also attracted Picasso and Kandinsky. Today the montagne Saint Victoire welcome walkers that come in family to observe nature and get some air, and get lost in the always beautiful colors of Cézanne.

Early in the 19C Cabourg was a village of fishermen in Normandie, In 1853, a big beach was created commonly called the queen of beaches , A thermal station was created attracting several artists theater directors, and celebrities such as Théophile Gautier. The first casino was done as the Grand Hotel de la Plage, Marcel Proust comes for the first time here in 1891. Then , follow visits in 1907 to 1914,passing all the summers, The writer gave his name to the promenade and contribute to the image of romantism of the beach resort.

The school of Pont Aven in Bretagne. In the 1860’s American painters came here and stayed at the Hôtel du Lion d’Or and Hôtel de Voyageurs of Julia Guillou, However, it was in the Auberge de Marie-Jeanne Gloanec that you could find Paul Gauguin and the young Emile Bernard. The birth of an artistic revolution that was to create the School of Pont Aven and made the town know the world over. The Bois d’Amour, rivages de l’Aven, and the Plage du Pouldu brings scenes for painters that came to impact the world of Impressionists. After a long period of obscurity, Pont Aven comes back in the 1960’s as a village of painters guided by the echos of Gauguin. The expositions increase, and a museum is born where painting is the main attraction and for the town as a whole today. Yes indeed!

Published in 1909 l’Aiguille Creuse brings us a gentlemen thief of Arséne Lupin and it author Maurice Leblanc. The book brings out the beach resort of the côte d’Albätre in Normandie, very much in fashion in the Belle Epoque, Etretat was already known for its pure air, its promenade by the sea, and its casino. It attract the writers such as Flaubert, Maupassant , and painters Monet, Courbet, Corot, and the composer Offenbach, Thanks to the heroes of Maurice Leblanc the town takes off. Today we can dwell into the ambiance of the thief seductor in visiting the Clos Lupin, the old summer villa of the writer, purchase by his granddaughter Florence it is open to the public since 1999. The visit is like a enigma where you are the hero, crossing the garden and its pergola you find Gronard that welcomes you and then the voice of Georges Descriéres, the most famous of Lupin will guide you into the rooms of the villa in 7 steps to discover the secret of the Aiguille creuse !

At Collioure you have the flag of Fauvism. At the foot of the pyrénées between Perpignan and Spain the village of Collioure sits in a nice area with pretty monuments. It is the place that Henri Matisse and André Durain discovered in 1905. With its colors and the light of the mediterranean they gave birth to a new movement : Fauvism. To honor these precursor a trail has been made where 20 field reproductions are shown on the spot where the originals were done.

We go to Ornans the mirror of Courbet. It was January 10 1818 that was born in Ornans in the Doubs region the painter Gustave Courbet. After his studies in Besancon he goes to Paris but always inspired by his village. His portrait of L’Enterrement à Ornans is refuse at the universal exposition of 1855 due to his association with the communards and the falling of the column of Vendôme ; in 1874 he will need to pay the cost of the reconstruction with his work sold in auction. He take exile in Swizerland where he died of liver cirrhoses on December 31 1877. Without him Ornans would not be known as today.

And Van Gogh left his posterity in Auvers sur Oise ! As he told his brother Theo, « Here we are far from Paris to sense the real countryside, » Bordering the Oise river the countryside of Auvers sur Oise tell of his painting Le Champ de blé aux corbeaux painted near the cemetery where he RIP. His simple tomb with his brother is covered in dirt , the one coming from the garden of Dr Gachet where is now a museum. His walks in town are like his painting all about Auvers sur Oise and the countryside. Facing the mayor’s office you find the Auberge Ravaux now a museum in his memory. The room where he died has been done as it was, and the place done like a museum as he said «  One day or another, i will find the means to do an exposition of mine in a café ». Done!

And Alfred Sisley played in Moret sur Loing where the bridge, the church, and loing river basin remained the same as when Sisley was here. In 20 years he painted 90 portraits of the town and around it. From the house where he lived we see a hidden roof behind some trees and a high wall but easily go by a stairs that goes down to the Loing river to find the quays that he immortalise with his paintings. Nothing has change today,

At Barbizon, you see the school of Barbizon ! Early in the 19C Barbizon was a village in the forest of Fontainebleau and the plains of the Biére. However some portraits were done already by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, as he frequented the auberge Ganne founded in 1822. By the middle of the 20C, Barbizon gain fame when came here Théodore Rousseau, and Jean François Millet . Their masterpieces gave the tour of the world with Les Glaneuses, Moutons aux pâturage, or l’Angelus, The School of Barbizon was born. Thanks to it the town saw enormous fame with its old shops transform into museums, the houses with tile roofs, and its romantic walks in the forest, the village still preserve its charms of old as time has stop indeed !!

A recap with name birth year and death year of each of these early photographers ! Victor Hugo (1802-1885), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Maurice Leblanc (1864-1941), Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Marcel Proust (1871-1922), Alfred Sisley (1839-1899), Gustave Coubet (1819-1877), Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), Jean François Millet (1814-1875), and Thédore Rousseau (1812-1867).

The Art Guide on Romanticism in French:

The Art Guide on the Impressionists in French:

The History of Arts on Fauvism in French:

There you go folks, pure arts, the very best in the world, and lucky to have it all near in my belle France. This is my humble homage to these men and women who have delighted us with the beautiful portraits , essays, and stories to tell for generations to come. Hope you have enjoy this brief tour of the world of the arts by yours truly.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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