© Michael Bundy
2019 summer exhibitions in Brittany

2019 summer exhibitions in Brittany

Between the vibrant canvases of the last Impressionist painters in Quimper or Pont-Aven, the lively and picturesque scenes depicting the atmosphere of the 19th century and the early 20th century in Faouët, Lamballe or Vannes, there are numerous opportunities to turn your summer in Brittany into a cultural exploration. Seize them!


“Des peintres entre terre et mer, du Faouët à Concarneau”

Faouët Museum, from 31st March to 6th October 2019

Le Faouët, Pont-Aven, Quimperlé, Le Pouldu… In the southern Finistère at the end of the 19th century, with the arrival of the railway, artists in the mood for romanticism or realism found what they needed to feed their inspiration in picturesque Brittany. The colourful crowds on market days or atonement days, blue nets drying on boat masts, sailors unloading the day’s catch: a testimony full of colours, noise and smells that relates maritime and rural life steeped in tradition before the incursion of modernity.


Faouët Museum

“En forêt”

Mathurin Méheut Museum, Lamballe, from 6th April 2019 to 4th January 2020

Nature lovers or fans of paintings will love to rediscover the wonders of the forest painted by Mathurin Méheut in the Lamballe museum. Carpets of dead leaves, oak trees with spring colours, rocks covered in moss in the undergrowth, etc. Using warm reds, shades of green and exuberant pinks and mauves, Méheut sensitively captures the trees changing over the seasons. Combining scientific rigour and decorative liberty, he studies every strata of plant life, analyses and interprets the most modest and the most delicate species.  Unexpected note: the creations of five contemporary artists scattered throughout the exhibition. A unique dialogue that spans the years and styles; an invitation to contemplate the work of Méheut in a different light.


Lamballe Museum

“Les derniers impressionnistes, le temps de l’intimité”

Fine Arts Museum and Breton County Museum, Quimper, from 21st June to 29th September 2019

The Breton County Museum and the Fine Arts Museum in Quimper invite you to a double exhibition on the theme of the artists who came together at the dawn of the 20th century in the guild called “Société Nouvelle de Peintres et Sculpteurs”. Its members were unanimously received by critics and the public from the Belle Epoque (1920s) to the end of the post-war period. Half-way between classicism and modernity, they defended a naturalist style of art imprinted with poetry.

Breton County Museum

On the picture rails of the Breton museum, you’ll find the works of painters inspired by Brittany and by the sea, who we call “the black band”. You’ll recognise the harsh, deep and austere art of Charles Cottet who loved Cornouaille and its seafaring people; the delicate horizons of the shores of the Odet sketched by André Dauchez; or the fluid, vibrant and warm painting by Lucien Simon celebrating the beauty of the costumes in scenes of atonement, markets or fairs.

Breton County Museum


Fine Arts Museum of Quimper

At the Fine Arts museum, under the patronage of Rodin, follow the footsteps of these intimate painters, “the last impressionists”. You’ll admire wonderful and psychologically accurate portraits, like “landscapes of the soul”, the greyness of a twilight or the softness of moonlight painted by Henri Le Sidaner and Henri Martin, for example. Graphical work is marked by a renewal of engravings.

Children will have fun with two games booklets, visits and a plastic art workshop.

                Fine Arts Museum of Quimper

L’impressionnisme d’après Pont-Aven

Pont-Aven Museum, from 29th June 2019 to 5th January 2020

In parallel to daring and innovative research that lead to the invention of synthetism, Gauguin and his companions continued to forge ahead with impressionism. Observe how Pissaro, Gauguin, Schuffenecker, etc., strive to make the real perceptible via vibrations of light. Following them, a few painters further developed outdoor work, close to nature, transporting easels and tubes of colour along the coasts and inland. Landscapes and scenes of everyday life are just pretexts to capture this Breton light which is so particular, between the sky, the land and the sea. In response to Henry Moret’s use of flamboyant colours and generous touch, Maxime Maufra applies more subtle half-colours, while Ferdinand du Puigaudeau excels in making the shimmering light of lamps penetrate the darkness. There are family circuits, workshops and highlights to be discovered during your visit.


Pont-Aven Museum

“Joseph-Félix Bouchor, Instants de vie”

Musée de la Cohue, Vannes, from 19th April to 30th September 2019

This first retrospective of a prolific artist takes you in the footsteps of Joseph-Félix Bouchor, a great traveller, to discover the landscapes of Brittany, Normandy and the East. Around 100 paintings reveal the painter’s sensitivity to delicious moments of everyday life: “Petites Bigoudènes” lifting up their skirts to paddle in the cool water; scenes of the fish market and pig market in Brittany; or, more exotic, “Conteur à Bab Guissa” in the shade of the striking ramparts. Official painter for the army museum in the first world war, he also made portraits of great war leaders and views of battlefields. His work exalts light and colour. To discover again and again!

In addition: guided tours, conferences for adults and activities for children


Cohue Museum

“Cabinets de curiosités”

FHEL, Landerneau, from 23rd June to 3rd November 2019

Herbaria, fossils, anatomic sculptures, automatons, hunting trophies and everyday utensils all come together in this completely unique and unusual exhibition. The curiosity cabinet came about in the Renaissance, at the intersection between art and science, both a source of knowledge and aesthetic pleasure. It is the expression of a man’s passion and the reflection of the knowledge of an era. This year, FHEL celebrates its reinvention, or perhaps its reinterpretation, through the presentation of around 15 collections. Between the animal gallery of the hunting museum, objects dedicated to horses and the journey of Emile Hermès, anatomic moulds from the Montpellier medicine faculty, Henry Le Secq des Tournelles’ passion for ironwork, and many others, all form the ingredients for an enjoyable moment of artistic emotion and scientific initiation!


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