Delayed by the Covid19 crisis, the Normandy Impressionist Festival is now bravely rescheduled to 4 July – 15 November 2020, at museums and sites all over Normandy. We managed to see three of the exhibits.
First, at Le Havre’s striking dockside modern art museum MuMa, Electric Nights brings together impressionist images of cities lit by artificial lights.
You get a sense of the wonder as artists explored the effect of the new lighting and the scenes it opened up.
Next, to the Beaux-arts museum in Rouen, where part of the collection of coal magnate François Depeaux is being shown together. His paintings formed the foundation of the museum’s collection.
The Seine and its changing light is depicted in many of the images by both the most famous and lesser known impressionist painters.
Quirky paintings we loved: the collector’s young daughters by Georges Picard; and Monet’s turkeys.
Last to Pont-Audemer and a retrospective of contemporary impressionist Malgorzata Paszko at the tiny Alfred Canel museum. The theme of the festival is light and colour, and Paszko’s work celebrates and recontextualises the nocturnal blues and shifting horizons of the earlier impressionists.
The large canvases pop and shimmer and you can lose yourself to them – a rare pleasure, in 2020.