Rail Europe is inviting travellers to follow in the path of world-renowned Impressionist painters by rail in Normandy this summer to discover the region that inspired their masterpieces.
Through Sept. 25, the French region of Normandy, located on the shores of the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, in collaboration with the French National Railway Company, is holding the third annual Normandy Impressionist Festival, with cultural activities, art exhibitions, live shows and more.
The events feature famous works of Impressionist art highlighting the steam trains that revolutionized the era, including “Rain, Steam and Speed” by Turner, and Monet’s “The Gare St-Lazare” showcasing the Parisian train station.
In celebration of the event, three French TER regional express trains have been wrapped in duplicates of paintings by Monet and Pissarro and are being referred to as the “trains of Impressionism.” On board, passengers can discover famous art work on the walls while they whisk through Normandy’s colourful countrysides, following the path Monet, Renoir and Delacroix painters would have used 150 years ago to travel the region by steam train from Paris.
Departing from the iconic landmark Paris Saint-Lazare train station, which happens to be the train station that inspired Claude Monet for a series of paintings, the train stops at Vernon-Giverny, site of the house and garden where Monet painted his Water lilies series, and the Normandy capital, Rouen. The train’s final destination is the town of Le Havre, just over two hours from Paris.
This special train service makes daily departures from Paris on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer.