Date and time of visit: July 17, 2016, approximately 4:00 p.m.
It must have taken about 40 minutes after leaving Honfleur. Our next goal was a special exhibition held in a small town called « Pont-aux-Mers ».
The painter featured here, Jeanne Forain (1865-1954), was a female painter and sculptor. She was born in the town of Bosc in the Languedoc region of southern France, and later married Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931), who was also an impressionist painter and a famous caricaturist of the Belle Époque period. It seems that he and his wife were both painters. Are you surprised? She is also a painter who was active in the period of the height of Impressionism, so her painting style belongs to Impressionism.
This is a very small town in Normandy, and the location is around here. We took the highway from Honfleur. We are getting closer to Rouen. (I’m going to visit Rouen later.)
I didn’t see many tourists, but there was one couple who visited the museum before I arrived. However, when I went inside, I was the only tourist. Admission was free.
The museum to be held is the Alfred Canel Museum. Canel was a novelist and the mayor of Pont-Audemer in the mid-19th century. This museum was the mayor’s residence and study at the time. Now it is a museum and a library.
First of all, the permanent exhibition. By the way, it was prohibited to take photos inside here too, so I can only write my impression. The website doesn’t seem to be very good, so I’ll show you the brochure. I wonder if I can convey the atmosphere well.
I didn’t understand it as much as I saw the outside, but the inside, the permanent exhibition was quite substantial. It was worth seeing.
Now, the special exhibition. It was held in the annex of the building, and you had to go through the door on the first floor (the second floor in Japan) to get to the special exhibition area. I think there were about 30 exhibitions in the collection. There were a lot of explanations, but I didn’t have time to read and understand them in French, so I’m sorry, I can’t tell you what they were like. My vague impression was that there were many portraits with strong impressionist influence, but none of them left a strong impression on me. Anyway, I wonder why there was an exhibition of Follain’s work in such a place.
However, her husband, Jean-Louis Folin, seems to have left many wonderful works, so it was a great gain to have new knowledge again. It was a short stay, but it was the first time in a long time that I felt at home in a quiet village. But we don’t have much time. We will go to Rouen. (To be continued)