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Photo diary: Musée d’art moderne André Malraux

June 22, 2013

I’ve just got back from a camping holiday in Normandy, but don’t worry I’m only bringing you the highlight, and that was a trip to MuMa.

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The region is holding its second ever Festivale Normandie Impressionniste and as luck would have it we caught what must be the flagship show in Le Havre.

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The theme to this year’s festival is water and Camille Pissarro scores double here – with a view of the River Seine, painted on a rainy day.

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Here is a view of the same bridge (Boieldieu) “at sunset with smoke”. Vapour in all its forms appears to have held a fascination for Pissarro.

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Here’s a wonderful detail: watery shade from the bridge going head to head with a mellow evening light, turning the river first green then gold.

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This time morning mist has caught the master’s eye, and it’s all of a piece with the steam from the quayside. This is another Rouen bridge, The Pont Corneille.

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Geek fest: four views of the same breakwater in Le Havre. Pissarro had the impressionist’s knack of taking a single viewpoint and generating totally different scenes from it.

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The exhibition pulled in a few comparable paintings, including this one by Albert Marquet. In this glassy scene of The Bassin du Roy in Le Havre, the buildings appear to ripple as much as the sea.

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This also caught my eye.In 1930, Henri de Saint-Delis paints the market in Honfleur. For an early brandscape, this sure is purty.

Pissarro in the Ports: Rouen, Dieppe, Le Havre, is at MuMa until 29 September.

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