In Paris, Pierre-Auguste Renoir meets a young provincial native of Essoyes, Aline Victorine Charigot. Attracted by the beauty and generous forms of the young 18 year old girl, the artist asks her to pose for him. She becomes his model, and later his wife, but above all the mother of his three sons, Pierre the actor, Jean the filmmaker and Claude the ceramist.
In 1885, she brings her husband to Essoyes. Conquered and charmed by the landscape and way of life of the villagers, Renoir and his family come back every summer for 30 years. The family home, purchased in 1896, welcomes not only Renoir, but many of his friends. The painter finds in Champagne the inspiration and the models of his canvasses through the laundresses of the village, his children and Gabrielle Renard, who becomes the nanny of Jean, but also his favourite model.
Discover Essoyes, the village of the Renoirs.
* The Renoir Area :
-A permanent exhibition to discover Renoir : the “Espace Renoir” presents a permanent exhibition organized in theme boxes to discover the life of the famous painter.
-An audiovisual show: a short film in French or English to discover Essoyes, dedicated to the creations of the Renoirs
-A temporary showroom
-A shop, a relaxation area.
* Renoir’s Garden :
Between the reception area and the Atelier, walk up the driveway of the garden, inspired by Renoir’s paintings, between fruit trees, green plants and fragrant flowers. Take time to stroll, sit in the shade of the apple tree, why not imitate Renoir and take time to sketch. At the end of the garden discover the house of the painter.
* Renoir’s House :
This house belonged to the descendants of Pierre-Auguste Renoir until 2012, date from which thanks to the municipality of Essoyes and the Heritage Foundation, it has undergone a major renovation in order to preserve its authenticity and soul of this family home. Born in 1841, it was in 1896 that the painter bought his first property. And it is Essoyes, village of his wife Aline Charigot, that Renoir chooses. Here he found the calm and serenity that brought him the joy of family reunions mainly in the summer and many themes encouraging his work; the market, the landscape, church, models …
* The Painter’s Workshop
Built in 1906, not to disturb the children in their games, Renoir painted many paintings here. The ground floor invites you to discover the different facets of this artist: his appeal for colours, his desire for sculptures, his attraction for portraits…
In the centre of the room, as in levitation, the painter’s wheelchair, symbol of the courage and devotion of the man who preferred to give up walking rather than painting. Next door, projected on a canvas, some paintings made in Essoyes. On the first floor, discover some authentic objects. The sculptures, of course, but also the transport box that was used to repatriate the paintings made here to Paris.
A rare document film allows you to observe the painter at work.
«All about the Renoirs» in Essoyes, «an artists’ village in Champagne». The small Champagne town is turning into an artists village in Champagne where visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the work of the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). First of all they come to the Renoir Space, a permanent exhibition and an auditorium devoted to his family life, then they take the «discovery tour» through the village which conduct them to the studio via a flower garden.