Caen and the Cotentin

Caen, home of William the Conqueror, is also a city where Impressionist painters came to envision their inspiration. Along the Cotentin Peninsula, villages and towns such as Barfleur, La Hague and Cherbourg were favoured by Millet, Signac and Fréret.

DRIFT WITH THE IMPRESSIONIST CURRENTS FROM CAEN TO THE COTENTIN

At first sight, the Calvados and the Manche seem to be more linked to the Middle Ages and World War II than Impressionism. And yet it is in the Manche that Jean-François Millet, the realist painter who led the way for a number of Impressionists, took his first steps as a painter. And it was in the Calvados that the family of the Post-Impressionist painter Paul Signac spent several summer holidays.

Signac continued his exploration of the region when he spent five years living in Barfleur, nicknamed the “Pearl of the Saire Valley” by Jules Renard. Just as Rouen was a hotbed of local artists, Caen too can boast Stanislas Lépine, whose work was included in the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris, held in 1874.

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