Impressionists arrive in the Aosta Valley. Monet and colleagues paint the lights of Normandy.

At the Fortress of Bard opens the exhibition 'Lights of the North. Impressionism in Normandy'. Monet and colleagues arrive in an exhibition in the Aosta Valley.

Coming to the Fortress of Bard(Aosta Valley) is the exhibition Lights of the North. Impressionism in Normandy, which opens until June 17 and, with seventy important works in an original project, tells how artists in late 19th-century France were fascinated by the atmospheres of Normandy, its landscapes, and the power of its nature. “Normandy,” we read in the presentation, “exerted an irresistible force of attraction among 19th-century artists, beginning with its discovery by English painters and watercolorists who crossed the English Channel to study the landscape, ruins, and monuments on French soil.” Cities such as Honfleur, Le Havre and Rouen became crossroads for great artists, such as Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet and especially Eugène Bodin, who was a native of these lands (he was born in Honfleur), and Claude Monet, who as a child moved to Le Havre and on the Normandy coasts, right along with Boudin, learned to paint landscapes.

The artists worked en plein air to capture all aspects of the Normandy landscape, “a region where nature,” points out the curator of the Aosta Valley exhibition , Alain Tapié,“possesses its own true and vibrant ’physicality.’ A region of sea and land, rich and lush but also rugged and bleak, characterized by leaden skies, dense fog, stormy seas, high cliffs battered by wind and waves, alongside tranquil expanses of orchards, country lanes and reassuring thatched-roof farms.”

Through the landscapes of Normandy, the exhibition aims to tell the story of the birth of impressionist painting, from which Impressionism as it is commonly known will be born, and makes use of a body of works by leading artists: in addition to the paintings mentioned above, visitors will see works by Delacroix, Renoir, Morisot, Dufy, Bonnard and others who intended to portray the truth of what their eyes saw in a precise instant.

Opening hours: Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays (except April 30). The ticket office closes 45 minutes earlier. Tickets: full 8.50 euros, reduced 6.50 euros, reduced schools 5 euros. Audioguide is sold at a cost of 3.50 euros (discount to 5 euros the pair). For information:

Image: Auguste Renoir, Coucher du soleil, vue de Guernesey (c. 1893; oil on canvas, 22.5 x 36.5 cm)

Impressionists arrive in the Aosta Valley. Monet and colleagues paint the lights of Normandy.
Impressionists arrive in the Aosta Valley. Monet and colleagues paint the lights of Normandy.

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