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Normandy – birthplace of Impressionism

Who am I?

Audrey, Little Normandy’s founder and I have many common points! France, our common passion for creation and New York where we met. Therefore I was immediately excited by her invitation to share on her blog what Normandy means for me.

Being raised in the Paris area, less than an hour from Normandy, I’ve had many opportunities to appreciate its charm and culture.

Normandy with Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet.

As a painter, this region represents the birthplace of Impressionism. Claude Monet is undoubtedly the most famous Norman painter and his work needs no introduction. I’d like to take advantage of this blog to evoke the painter that is considered as his main influence: Eugène Boudin.

Monet was 18 when he meets Boudin who was in his mid thirties. Boudin convinced Monet to paint outdoors : Monet’s fate was affected, as we all know.

Named “King of the skies” by Corot, Boudin is I think, one of the first to capture the light of Normandy so well. He was well aware of his impact on Impressionism: “I may have had my very small share of influence in the movement that leads towards the study of the great light, the outdoors and sincerity in the reproduction of the effects of the sky. ”

However, due to his modest nature, he never claimed the influence he had. Indeed, he was also grateful to the painters who “advised (him) and offered a model to follow. “.

Eugène Boudin and impressionism

Boudin’s paintings that move me the most are his scenes of beaches where the crinolines color the Normandy seashore. These small sized paintings give an intimate character to these snapshots of a bygone era.

These joyful paintings suggest that he was a cheerful painter. He was rather in his own words “a lonely person, a daydreamer who took too much pleasure in keeping to himself and watching the sky.”

I am always touched to see his paintings in the most prestigious museums of the world and he would probably be the first to be surprised “The future will do for me what he does for all of us. I’m afraid it will be to fall into oblivion.”

Many thanks to Little Normandy for this opportunity to write about this talented painter with such an endearing personality…

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Laurence de Valmy is a French artist, based in NYC area, whose work is between Contemporary Realism and Photorealism, which has led her to be featured on photorealism.org. She explores the beauty of things in different series inspired by Laurence’s own interests in fashion, design and travel. Laurence actively exhibits her paintings and is included in many private collections in the US, Europe and Asia.

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