Here I am at Pont-Aven, in Finistère. This city was called the City of Painters. 1860s onward, many artists joined this small town.

Gauguin à Pont-Aven
Gauguin à Pont-Aven

La Cité des Peintres – City of Painters

When we re-read the correspondence between Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh, we have the feeling that Gauguin and probably the many artists and painters who were around him, came to seek an authenticity, an aesthetic truth in Pont l’Abbé and the region, which was built on a grounding in a raw, preserved, vibrant nature.

The village, its mills, dams, houses, paths, the inhabitants, and the landscapes of this part of Brittany, have been sources of inspiration for major painters from France, from all over Europe and North America.

I often look for inspiration during my travels and encounter traditions, know-how, new materials.

The Pont-Aven school has painters with different styles: synthetism, post-impressionism, nabism, symbolism.

Some of them arePaul GauguinÉmile BernardPaul-Émile ColinPaul Sérusier, Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard, , Charles FiligerHenry MoretLouis RoyMaxime Maufra, Meyer de Haan.

This community of artists has immortalized Brittany and the Bretons, through its works, exhibited in museums around the world.

Their paintings are also to be discovered in the Museum of Pont-Aven, which offers a collection of more than 200 works.

Notre Dame de Trémalo Chapel

Paul Gauguin and other artists will paint this chapel. Located on the heights of the city, Gauguin was inspired by the Yellow Christ of the Chapel, for two of his works: The “Yellow Christ” and “The Self-portrait with Yellow Christ”. It is one of the remarkable places of Pont-Aven. It belongs to the Hersart de la Villemarqué family.

Perhaps you could also discover a Museum close-by, which hosts works of the School of Pont-Aven? Or do you know places of artists where the effervescence of this community of artists can be found today? I will be delighted to present these places in a future letter. I believe it is essential to raise awareness about these.

In my next letter we are going to the Southwest of France.

The photographs in this letter, and, on our  Instagram et Facebook are from Musée de Pont-Aven.

To know more about my letter and the author, I invite you to visit our Carré Royal Letters page.

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Huitrières du Château de Bélon
Huitrières du Château de Bélon

From Pont-Aven…

You can discover:

  • Le Pouldu

Another place, where Paul Gauguin, Meyer de Haan, Paul Sérusier, Henry Morey stayed regularly: the village of Pouldu (Commune of Clohars-Carnoët). The artists stayed at the Auberge de la Plage, which is now being reconstructed.

  • Quimperlé 

With its Abbey Church and the Frémeur Hospital, one of the last “Medieval Hospitals” that exist in France.

François de Solminihac perpetuates the tradition of the Huitrières (Oyster farm) on the Bélon river.

Some music

Trois chansons Bretonnes (Three Breton songs), by Patricia Petibon : Extrait Youtube  

Our playlist is available in both Spotify and Deezer

Boutique : The Cozy Shop

During my visits to Pont-Aven, I am always amazed at the attention that Marie-Anne pays to her clients. One of the reasons why I like going to these shops that distribute Carré Royal, lies in this service relationship.

To know more about our colorful collections please visit Our collections.