Visiting Pont Aven in Brittany

Now that you are in southern Brittany, and/or cannot see an impressionist or a synthetist painting, without going “how much does it cost, I want it” is not it time we visited the little hidden port of Pont Aven in Brittany. It is around 15 km away from Concarneau, Brittany. It was during the last decades of the 19th century, when this small village was found by a group of British, French, American and Scandinavian painters who found it a “little inexpensive hole of a place”so dear to the hearts of impecunious artists. Since then, Pont Aven has made a name as the place where Paul Gaughin spent a lot of his time, before he went to his beloved island in the Sun Tahiti. You are not going to see many of Gaughin’s paintings here, but “what is here is good” (talk about trite clichés!)

Pont Aven

Pont Aven


So if you are interested in the works of all those artists who studied under Gauguin, including Maufra, Bernard Filiger, Laval, Séguin de Chamaillard, Sérusier and de Haan, (well known as the Synthetists of the Skol Pont-Aven), a visit to the École de Pont-Aven is a must. The school was quite a godsend for the Pontavenistes, many of those who had the initiative to accept paintings for food, and lodging. Naturally, if you happen to be an owner of a commercial gallery, or just a tourist “loves art for art’s sake”or even “I do not know much about art but I know what I like”, a visit to the school is going to be an experience to remember.

One of the more famous attractions of Pont Aven during the Middle Ages were the 14 mills, which existed much before this place was discovered by artists. Only four survive to date. So have lunch and dinner at one of these mills, Moulin Poulguin while appreciating the old machinery.

For all those lovers who want to walk hand in hand, tiptoeing among the daisies, they can get plenty of inspiration in the woods just outside this little town. The woods are called Bois d’Amour, possibly named so by the artists who came here to get inspiration.