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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Rail Europe: On the Tracks with French Impressionist Painters




Until 25 September 2016, Rail Europe invites travellers exploring Normandy in the north of France to follow the path of world-renowned Impressionist painters to discover the very region that inspired their masterpieces.  

In collaboration with the French National Railway Company "SNCF", this would be the third annual Normandy Impressionist Festival held by the region of Normandy.

Three TER regional express trains wrapped in duplicates of paintings by Monet and Pissarro have been dubbed "trains of Impressionism" for this festival. On board, passengers will enjoy some famous art work on the walls while they journey across the region's colourful and dreamy countryside, following the path Monet, Renoir and Delacroix would have used 150 years ago to travel the region by steam train from Paris.

For more than a century, trains enabled Impressionism masters to explore the Normandy countryside, discovering landscapes which eventually served as backdrops for more than a hundred paintings. From the end of the 19th century onwards, rail permitted painters and regular passengers to escape the French capital of Paris to explore the inspiring country.

Departing from the iconic Paris Saint-Lazare train station, the very inspiration of a series of Claude Monet paintings, the train will journey to Vernon-Giverny, the site that inspired Monet's Water lilies series before continuing to the Normandy capital of Rouen. The train's final destination is the town of Le Havre, just over two hours from Paris.

Note, however that this special Impressionist train service will depart from Paris on Saturdays and Sundays only.

Visitors to the region will be treated to a multitude of cultural activities, art exhibitions and live shows. The events will highlight Impressionist art that was influenced by the steam trains that revolutionized the era, such as "Rain, Steam and Speed" by Turner, and Monet's "The Gare St-Lazare" showcasing the Parisian train station.

Be it a ride on the Impressionist train service or a regular TER train service heading to Normandy, passengers will still enjoy train stations that have been decorated in celebration of impressionism in Normandy and occasional shows performed by the "Impressionne Moi" (Impress Me) art company.

For France Rail Passes or point-to-point tickets, head to www.raileurope.com.au.

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