Countries France Paris Cultural Tours

Paris: Impressions of a City

Painting took on a fabulous strength and splendour; the object was discredited as an indispensable element of the picture.

Wassily Kandinsky on seeing a Monet
with
Thomas Abbott
Thomas Abbott is an independent art and architectural historian. He graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied his Masters at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. He is a specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century. He has a been a resident of Berlin since 1987 and has successfully led cultural tours for many years across Europe.
What's included...
  • Return tickets on Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord
  • 3 nights in the 4-star Hotel Edouard VII
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners (lunch and dinner with wine, water and coffee included)
  • All museum & gallery entry tickets
  • The services of your lecturer and tour manager
  • A tour-guide headset system to make hearing the lecturer easier
  • Transport by luxury coach, as the itinerary requires
  • All tips and taxes
Hotel
Hotel Edouard VII
Getting about
Participants should be reasonably fit. There is a significant amount of
walking, standing and use of stairs.
Inspirational tours frequently booked together
with £1,095 per person
Highlights

Monet and his family arrived in Giverny in 1873. Ten years later, he bought the piece of land neighbouring his property on which was crossed by a small brook, the Ru. It is here that he had his first pond dug. The surrounding gardens are inspired by the Japanese gardens Monet saw in the prints he collected.
 

Renoir lived in the building that is now the Musee Monmatre. The gardens surrounding it have been reconstructed from Renoir's paintings of them.
As the name suggests, there are a few Monet's in this museum. In fact, it houses the largest collection of Monet paintings in the world.
The Musee d'Orsay contains an outstanding collection of French Impressionist art. There are dozens of paintings by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Claude Monet's Nymphéas was arranged on the ground floor of the Orangerie in 1927. They are available under a direct diffused light, as was originally intended by Monet. 
The Impressionist movement found its epicentre in Paris, France with many of the leading artists, French natives. Impressionism saw a change in style away from Romanticism with its expression of sublime emotions which contrasted the earlier restraint of The Enlightenment, and from Realism with its very defined brushstrokes and portrayals of daily life. The Impressionists chose to depict landscapes and people as they viewed them. Impressionist artists used small, thin, yet visible brush strokes with an emphasis on the accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities.

The Impressionists were considered shocking, at times. An example is Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe being thrown out of the 1863 Salon, with its blatant nudity and allusions to prostitution. Impressionism as a style of painting derives from the title of Claude Monet’s work, Impression, Soleil Levant, which provoked the art critic Louis Leroy to coin the term “Impressionism” in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper, Le Charivari on 25th April 1874.

This Sapienza Travel tour to Paris and Giverny provides significant insight into French Impressionism and the Impressionist painters themselves, including Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Degas and Renoir. We view their art in Paris’ outstanding museums and galleries, some of which are not often visited. A visit ​to Monet’s house and gardens at Giverny is a special highlight of this tour.
We board our Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Gare du Nord, where we transfer to the luxuriously appointed, Hotel Edouard VII. After lunch together, we set out to the Musee d'Orsay, home to possibly the world's most outstanding collection of French Impressionist art. Inside the former, Gare d'Orsay, there is an extraordinary collection of paintings with over 40 paintings by each of the following Impressionist artists; Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Dinner is in a local restaurant.
 
After breakfast, we drive to Giverny for our tour of Monet's house and gardens where he created many of his most famous paintings. We lunch in Giverny, before returning to Paris, where we explore the Musee Marmottan Monet.  The museum is housed in a hunting lodge built for the Duke of Valmet and features an outstanding collection of over 300 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Claude Monet ( the largest collection of his works in the world), Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The evening is at leisure.
This morning is spent inside one of the world's most famous art galleries, the Musee du Louvre, where Thomas Abbott leads us on a curated tour of the galleries, focusing on the French Impressionists.

After lunch (not included), we walk through the Tuileries Gardens to the Musée de l'Orangerie is an art gallery of impressionist, and post-impressionist paintings tucked away in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens. Amongst its collection is a cycle of Monet's water-lily paintings, known as the Nymphéas, which was arranged on the ground floor of the Orangerie in 1927. They are available under a direct diffused light, as was originally intended by Monet. 

We then make our way to the Petit Palais which was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. Today, it houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts. The museum displays paintings by artists such as Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Cézanne and the sculptor, Rodin.

We dine together on our final night of this impressive tour.
After breakfast, we check-out of the hotel and make our way to the Musee Rodin. Auguste Rodin is an enigma for art historians who so like to categorise artists. Rodin's work includes many aspects of Realism and Impressionism; it is neither, rather sitting somewhere between the two. During our visit, Thomas Abbott will explain how Rodin’s works combine what is visible about events and people with their inner emotional and intellectual responses to the situations in which they find themselves.

We lunch together before spending the afternoon in the Musee Montmartre where the gardens have been restored according to Renoir’s paintings. Renoir lived here between 1875 and 1877 during which time he painted several masterpieces including the famous le Bal du Moulin de la Galette, La Balancoire, and Jardin de la rue Cortot.

We then board Eurostar for our return to London St Pancras.

 
Sapienza Travel has reserved rooms in the 4-star Hotel Edouard VII for guests on this tour. Single rooms are classic double rooms. Twins and double rooms are in the superior category. Should you wish to upgrade, please contact us.

Eurostar - Departure is on the 7.55am train to Paris Gare du Nord. The returning train leaves Paris at 6.13pm, arriving into London St Pancras at 7.39pm. Seats are booked in Standard Premier.
If you would like to upgrade your tickets to a higher class, please contact us and we will provide a price for the upgrade.
Hotel accommodation at London St Pancras is available on request. Please, contact us.

Travel advice - Please refer the Foreign Office's website to make sure you are comfortable with the travel advice they provide for the destination(s) you are visiting. www.fco.gov.uk 

Activity level - Our tours involve a lot of walking, climbing stairs and standing still for periods of time. The historic centres of cities are often uneven and cobbled requiring everyone to be confident walking across them.

 
with
Thomas Abbott
Thomas Abbott is an independent art and architectural historian. He graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied his Masters at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. He is a specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century. He has a been a resident of Berlin since 1987 and has successfully led cultural tours for many years across Europe.
Hotel Edouard VII
Hotel Edouard VII was built in 1877 in the Haussmanian style and was named after Albert, Prince of Wales who was a frequent guest at the hotel prior to his coronation as King Edward VII. The French authorities also acknowledged Edward, having decided after his death to create Place Edouard VII in his honour a few steps from the hotel and to erect an equestrian statue to his glory (the sculptor Paul Landowski was chosen, in a competition) in front of the renowned eponymous theatre which opened its doors not long afterwards.

The recent renovation of Edouard VII was inspired by Edward VII, based on a meticulous study of the personality of Edward VII the man: his life, his background, his journeys, his loves. The hotel decoration includes a combination of materials such as the padded wall, the stylised furniture creations of Christophe Daudré, the association of accessories such as the Prince of Wales chair, cashmere rugs and the poetic notes inscribed on the walls, creating a luxuriously stylish guest environment.

The hotel is situated a stone's throw from the Palais Garnier, the Rue St Honore and is an easy walk to the Louvre, the Petit Palais and the Tuileries Gardens.
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