Louise is a journalist and guide. Today, she makes us discover her Great Parisian West along the water.
Departure from Marly-le-Roy on an electric bicycle to criss-cross the roads and paths used by artists in the 19th century. The villages we pass through have hardly changed. Louise’s talent allows us to see the paintings of the masters of Impressionism unfold before our eyes. They arrived from Paris by train and painted life on the riverside and in the small neighbouring villages.
Like them, we appreciate the picturesque villages on the banks of the Seine and we understand what they were looking for there: the colours, the light, the water, the atmosphere…
How can one cross Marly without also mentioning the breathtaking estate where Louis XIV received his closest friends? The castle, which has now disappeared, seems to be there, in front of us, resurrected by Louise. Claude Monet is also there, close to us, at the foot of the incredible aqueduct of Louveciennes, when we taste his tasty honey biscuits whose recipe he bequeathed to us. This immense aqueduct brought water to the King’s gardens, to Marly and Versailles.
But you have to take your time, admire the beautiful houses and the hundred-year-old trees that line our path on the banks of the Seine to finally end up in Chatou, on the Island of the Impressionists, to see this extraordinary place where Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, or Sisley used to meet. It is there, at the Maison Fournaise, that the lunches of the boating enthusiasts were held and where Renoir’s painting was painted.
And if the bicycle ride stops there, the discoveries continue with the Sequana workshop which revives the tradition of canoeing so dear to the Impressionists. One of them, in particular, has left his mark there: Gustave Caillebotte, the famous painter, was also a great lover of water sports. He owned thirty-two boats, drew the plans for twenty-two sailing ships and won numerous prizes.
Louise offered us a day out of time that will remain engraved in our memories for a long time. Now it’s your turn to embark on the banks of the Seine! Just follow your guide!
Enjoy Fontainebleau offers you a package of visits devoted to the Impressionists and open-air painting. From the origins of Impressionism, with the landscape painters of the Barbizon school, to the life and work of Alfred Sisley in Moret sur Loing, via the banks of the Seine, Monet’s house in Giverny and the must-see Musée d’Orsay, the Enjoy guides guarantee you a total immersion in 19th century art.