A crush on Creuse
Of course, the Impressionists didn’t rest on their laurels or stick to painting just Normandy and Paris. Monet had been painting haystacks around his home at Giverny (where he moved in 1883), but it was when he visited the Creuse valley in the winter of 1889 that he conceived his first true series of paintings. In this part of remote central France he would take several canvasses to the same site in the open air each day, moving from one to another each time the light altered. Other painters also discovered the magic of Creuse. The novellist George Sand described the landscape here as being “so rich the artist doesn’t know where to stop”.
The ‘valley of the painters’ where Impressionists flocked is at the site of the confluence of the two Creuse rivers, not far from Guèret where there’s a Museum of Art and Archeology with numerous Impressionist-style paintings and latter-day silver work of local artisans.
Creuse is one of the most reasonably priced parts of France in which to buy and there are some stunning houses for sale.
The novellist George Sand described the Creuse landscape as being so rich the artist doesn’t know where to stop