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The Best Art Museums in France for viewing Impressionism & Post-Impressionism Art

Below are articles about the best museums in France for viewing the artworks of the famous French Impressionists & Post Impressionists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In these museums, you will be able to view the art of the French impressionism giants such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt and many others. These art museums also have rich collections of of the French post-impressionists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Susan Valadon, Maurice Utrillo & Paul Signac to name a few.

Impressionism: the Art of Life

The colorful paintings of the impressionism and post-impressionism artists depict life in France during the late 19th & early 20th centuries. They aimed to capture every day scenes of the ordinary people. Through their paintings we are able to see the huge industrialization and modernization that was happening all over the country.

For example, through Caillebotte & Pissarro’s paintings, you can view the massive modernization of Paris. It was during this period that many Paris slums were demolished and replaced with grand buildings, on wide, long & tree-lined boulevards that were lit up at night with gas lanterns.

Gustave Caillebotte Painting of the new wide boulevards of Paris [Public Domain]
Gustave Caillebotte Painting of the new wide boulevards of Paris [Public Domain]

Through Monet’s paintings, we can see the newly built train stations of Paris. It was during this period that public train transport began. Ordinary people could now afford to travel. Many newly established train lines made many cities within France easy & affordable to reach. City dwellers during this period started to spend their weekends in the countryside. Renoir often portrayed these leisurely scenes in his paintings.

Claude Monet Painting of La Gare Saint Lazare Train Station
La Gare Saint Lazare Train Station in Paris painted by Claude Monet [Public Domain]

With public transport, many small seaside towns in Normandy and the Cote D’Azur became popular destinations in the summer months. The impressionists such as Boudin, Morisot & Monet captured many such scenes in their paintings.

Beac of Normandy - Berthe Morisot Painting
Leisure in the Seaside Towns of Normandy – Berthe Morisot Painting

The Artists leave Paris for Normandy, Southern France & Villages near Paris

Most of the Impressionists & Post-Impressionists started their art careers in Paris and Normandy. However, many of them preferred a more quiet life and left the Paris art scene for smaller rural towns. They scattered all across the country but predominantly in Normandy, Provence, the French Riviera, Brittany and villages near Paris. For example, Pissarro moved to Pontoise, Sisley to Moret-sur-Loing, Monet to Giverny , Renoir to Cagnes-sur-Mer, Van Gogh to Arles and Cezanne to Aix-en-Provence.

A List of the Best Art Museums in France for Impressionism & Post-Impressionism Art

It is therefore not surprising that the best art museums displaying impressionism paintings are also scattered across the country. These fantastic art museums are located mainly in the regions where the impressionists and post-impressionists lived and loved to paint, such as Normandy, the French Riviera, Provence and Paris.

Musee Marmottan Monet - one the best museums in France for impressionism art
Marmottan Monet Museum

Some of the art museums are former homes of the artists, such as Monet’s home in Giverny, Caillebotte’s house in Yerres and Valadon’s house in Montmartre. In these special museums, you not only get to see their artworks but also a glimpse into their intimate family life.

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