Honfleur is where impressionism began!
Many art historians believe that Honfleur, Normandy is the place where impressionism originated.
Boudin taught them the new technique of plein-air painting, experiencing the landscape by capturing it on the canvas outdoors (and not within a studio).
This technique violated all traditional academic rules of that time. It was also in Honfleur, at the Saint-Sime on farm of Madame Toutain, that the impressionist artists first gathered to share their new ideas and skills.
The Charming Town of Honfleur
Today, the main attraction of Honfleur is that it has hardly changed since a century ago, when young impressionists used to set up their easels along the quay and in the neighboring fields.
Honfleur is a picturesque medieval harbor town. During historical times, ship owners made fortunes from sea trade from this port. From the wealth of trading, the families built high-rise homes, packed tightly next to each other and especially around the Vieux Bassin, the heart of the port.
Today, instead of receiving commercial ships or fishing boats, the Vieux Bassin attracts yachts of the wealthy.
The town’s main square is the heart of this port town. From the square, narrow cobbled-streets radiate in all directions. Wherever you look, it is picture perfect, almost like a painting or postcard.
The small cobbled lanes are lined with pretty boutique and tourist shops and delicatessens selling local produce. The trendy French cafes & restaurants have stretched their outdoor seating onto the streets. The narrow houses, built between 16th and 18th centuries and the cobbled-stone streets all ooze with old time charm.
The Eugene Boudin Museum
There is a wonderful art museum in Honfleur called The Eugene Boudin Museum, located in the old quarter of town. It is devoted primarily to the Honfleur school of painting and artworks of painters of the Seine estuary.
We stayed in Honfleur for three days and used this gorgeous town as our base to visit other villages and towns in this part of Normandy.We stayed in the most delightful bed & breakfast in the old town.
I highly recommend visiting and even staying in this delightful little port town.
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