Honfleur is an the estuary where the Seine meets the Atlantic. It is a fishing village basically, but its picturesque setting and tremendous charm has long attracted artists, writers and musicians. It was here that Eugene Boudin encouraged a fifteen year old youth from Le Havre, Claude Monet, to leave caricature for the joys of painting. The luminous Norman sky and the delicate colors of the coastline inspired a new look in landscape painting that we now know as Impressionism.


Park Near the Champs-Elysees

Kay Rebber Foote


Just a little way up the coast is Entretat, where the chalk cliffs that frame the beach intrigued Monet as well as many other artists before and after him. Around 1883, he painted many scenes of the beach, the fishing boats and the unusual cliff formations with arches jutting out into the sea.


The Seine Near Notre Dame

Kay Rebber Foote


The distance covered from Paris to the sea is not great (about 120 miles) and it is just a few miles further up the coast to Entretat; however there are so many things of beauty and interest to paint that the trip may take quite a while. The apple orchards that Normandy is famous for are usually in full bloom in April. There are numerous abbey ruins along the way that are very beautiful, and forests nearby with thatched cottages, and, of course, always the Seine.


Key Rebber Foote spends a month painting in Europe nearly every year.


Text and images courtesy of Kay Rebber Foote

Copyright 1997 by Kay Rebber Foote

rev. 11/22/10

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