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18.8.03

The Popularity of Impressionism

Vincent Van Gogh, L'église d'Auvers-sur-Oise, vue du chevet, 1890, Musée d'OrsayEglise d'Auvers-sur-Oise, Romanesque

Just when I thought there couldn't be another show on the Impressionists, a little article (Voyage au temps des impressionnistes by Claire Haentjens, August 15) in Le Point sent me looking for more information about the Château of Auvers-sur-Oise. Since 1994, the château has been hosting a show called Voyage au temps des Impressionistes (the site has also been clumsily translated into English) that features evocations of some of the Impressionists' favorite themes: Haussmann's Paris seen as a typical bourgeois apartment, a bistro inspired by the café-concert Les Ambassadeurs, and the Gare Saint-Lazare. This all sounds corny to me, even though there are projections or reproductions of 500 paintings. Anyway, I think it would be much more interesting just to walk around the village, where you can see the house of Dr. Gachet painted by Cézanne, the little Romanesque church painted by Van Gogh (see photograph and painting), and the graves of Van Gogh and his brother Theo. The Web site of Auvers-sur-Oise has pages of paintings of the town by Cézanne and Van Gogh, the scenes of all of which you could probably still find in Auvers-sur-Oise.