Pont-Aven is worldwide known as the most artistic city in Brittany. Many famous writers and painters came to this place in the 19th century looking for inspiration. But long before the artists, Pont-Aven was an active city with many boats floating along the river Aven and many mills working night and day. Today, this is still very charming and alive place where you can see the artist painting on its streets and visit many interesting art galleries and museum. But, Pont-Aven is not only about art. This city is also known as a place where you can taste the most delicious buttery biscuits.
The opening of the railway line from Paris to Quimper in 1862 encouraged the artists from Paris to escape the city and enjoy a peaceful and colorful countryside of Brittany. Many famous writers, such as Victor Hugo, Chateaubriand and Gustave Flaubert, found their haven of tranquility in Pont-Aven, a little town with no more than 1.500 inhabitants. In 1886, Paul Gauguin, a French painter and the leader of the group known as “Impressionists”, also arrived in this little town. Very quickly, under his influence, Pont-Aven has become one of the most famous artistic centres in France, and a group of young artist such as Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis, Émile Bernard have also found their inspiration here. The Pont-Aven School (“L’Ecole de Pont-Aven”) is a name given to the different artists who were influenced by Pont-Aven and its surroundings. Even today, Pont-Aven is a place where many artists and painters continue to come and where you can find many art galleries and museums.
How do you see these trees? They are yellow. Well, then, put down yellow. And that shadow is rather blue. So render it with pure ultramarine. Those red leaves. Use vermilion, a brief painting lesson that Gauguin gave to Sérusier in Pont-Aven.
Today, in Pont-Aven you can discover all those magical places that have inspired the greatest painters and admire their works in many city’s museums and art galleries. Don’t miss to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Pont-Aven, the very first museum in the world dedicated to the Pont-Aven School. In this real heaven for art lovers, created in 1985, you can see the work of many famous painters such as Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Maurice Denis, and Paul Sérusier. The Museum collection also includes the works of less known artists such as Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Émile Jourdan, Maurice Asselin, Marie Luplau. The entrance fee for the adults is 8 euros and 5 euros if there are no temporary exhibitions.
After a long day of walking around Pont-Aven and visiting its museum and galleries, make sure to take a break and taste delicious biscuits made with salted butter – "Galettes de Pont-Aven". Pont-Aven is known as the most artistic city in Brittany but also as a place where you can find the traditional thin, crispy and melting biscuits, made from wheat flour, fresh butter, sugar and eggs. You can have those galettes all day long, but the real experts are always eating them with their first coffee in the morning.
Cover photo © DaLiu
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