What is Pont-Aven?
A Breton village of Cornwall, to the south-west of Britanny, with a coastal river. Right in the west of France. There are a few thousand inhabitants, but a wonderful history of painting in which , at the end of the nineteenth century, we find American, English, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Netherlanders, and of course, French gathered together. Not forgetting the Bretons, of course. The most famous of these painters, Gauguin and Emile Bernard, created the " synthétiste " school which round about 1888 followed the Impressionists. Serusier and his friends were to become the " nabis " (or so-called prophets). In 1905, Théodore Botrel, a cabaret artist in Montmartre, but originally from Brittany, came to settle in Pont-Aven, by then well-known. He was to create the " Pardon des fleurs d’ajonc ". (1)

  And Nizon?
Nizon, a little country village, starts just after the last houses of Pont-Aven, up above the river. This is where we find the chapel of Tremalo, painted hundreds of times, as well as the famous Christ figure which inspired Gauguin. Here too, we find the manor house of " Plessix-Nizon " where the young Théodore Hersart de la Villemarqué collected the first stories of the Barzaz Breiz. One of these legends refers to the castle ruins of Rustefan, also a favourite subject of the artists.


(1). Pardon : a local religious festival linked to a church or chapel, in Brittany.
Concerning the artists’ work, here is an extract from the paper L’Union de Quimperlé,in

" If little is known about the destination of the emigration of sardines,
even less is known about the destination of the innumerable paintings
similarly seasoned with oil ".

When Gauguin left Pont-Aven for Paris, he said he was going to
paint in a " hole ". The " hole ", already well known, was to become
famous. It was after the final collective exhibition of the Impressionists.