British Ambassador attends Normandy Impressionism Festival Grand Opening

SignacAndely2The British ambassador to France, Sir Peter Ricketts, was among the group of dignitaries that attended the official opening of the Normandy Impressionism Festival at the weekend.
He attended the event at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen along with Sports minister Valérie Fourneyron, a former mayor of Rouen, Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius, former president of the Agglomération de Rouen, and Laurent Beauvais President of the Upper Normandy region.
It is the second edition of the Festival which runs until the end of September and includes some of the most famous works by Impressionist painters as well as less well known paintings.
It also explores other aspects of Impressionism and how the genre inspired and affected other artists including those in music, design, photography and fashion.
There are a huge number of exhibitions taking place across the whole Normandy region, kicking off with the Dazzling Reflections exhibit unveiled at the Rouen museum on Sunday.
Other key events include A Summer at the Water’s Edge – Leisure and Impressionism at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen, Pissarro and the Ports – Rouen, Dieppe, Le Havre at the Musée André Malraux in Le Havre, Signac, the Colours of Water and Hiramatsu, the Lily Pond. Homage to Monet at the Musée des Impressionnismes in Giverney.
The exhibition in Caen features works by the most famous impressionist artists including Manet, Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat and Maurice Denis, but also by their foreign contemporaries, such as Mary Cassatt, Joaquin Sorolla, Max Liebermann and Peder Kroyer, loaned by great collections and museums in Europe and the United States.
The Signac exhibition shows the artist’s first seascapes painted on the Normandy coastline and his large, post war views of port buildings and structures in almost fluorescent colours.
Like Monet, Signac found water and its colours a constant source of inspiration.
‘As someone who is truly in love with Normandy, the cradle of Impressionism, I am delighted to preside over a festival that celebrates not only the great masters of painting but also our magnificent region,’ said I trust that the second edition of Normandy Impressionism will meet with the same enormous success as the first,’ said festival president Pierre Bergé.
Around 300 people protested outside the opening against gay marriage in France. It had been reported that the promised demonstration was the reason that French President Francois Hollande did not attend the event, but his spokesman said that he had never accepted an invitation to attend the opening in the city where he was born despite Fabius declaring publically that he would be there.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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