A Renoir Walk has been created in Guernsey in homage to the French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and to showcase how the island inspired some of the artist’s greatest works.
Located in the Moulin Huet valley on the island’s south coast, the Renoir Walk is a short, self-guided trail that takes visitors to locations where Renoir painted during a summer holiday in 1883.
The famous Impressionist spent just over a month on Guernsey and created 15 paintings during his stay, the majority of which depict views of Moulin Huet bay and beach, and which are considered to be among his best pieces of work.
The Renoir Walk follows his footsteps around the bay and is marked by five empty picture frames, which are placed in the exact spots where Renoir worked on his own paintings. The frames – especially commissioned to echo the ornate frames Renoir chose for his own artworks – allow viewers to see Moulin Huet from the same perspectives as the Frenchman did. Next to each frame, a panel offers further information plus a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to play an audio guide by Mr Cyrille Sciama, Director of the Musée des Impressionnismes in Giverny and a world authority on Renoir. A PDF guide is also available to download at artforguernsey.com/renoir.
The walk is the brainchild of Art for Guernsey, a charitable initiative managed by a team of passionate professionals who share a belief in the transformative power of art to bring communities together, provide educational opportunities and promote cultural diplomacy.
The Renoir Walk was initially established in 2019 to mark 100 years since the death of the famous French painter. Following the overwhelming popularity of the walk, Art for Guernsey applied to keep the frames permanently in situ as an asset to highlight the island’s artistic heritage and natural beauty.
The Renoir Walk was officially inaugurated on 23 June 2020 as part of a small ceremony with the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey, His Excellency Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder KBE CB, who is the representative of the British Monarch in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Mike Hopkins, Director of Marketing and Tourism, VisitGuernsey, says: “For generations, The Islands of Guernsey have inspired cultural figures, who have brought our wonderful landscapes, fascinating history and friendly people to life. The Art for Guernsey team has done a fantastic job of celebrating our connection to Pierre-Auguste Renoir and inspiring visitors to embrace it and I’m delighted that the Renoir Walk is now a permanent feature, adding another cultural asset to our diverse tourism offering. It will allow visitors to enjoy our wonderful coastal scenery and our cultural heritage simultaneously – perhaps combining it with a bracing cliff-top walk! We look forward to visitors exploring the new route when travel restrictions are lifted.”
For more information on Renoir in Guernsey: www.visitguernsey.com/see-and-do/history-arts-culture/renoir-in-guernsey/.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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