Located just next to the cathedral, the Fine Art Museum houses some beautiful paintings, trinkets and statues. What’s more it follows the same “First Sunday free” rule which means no-one pays on the first Sunday of the month. With my student card and my “cultural passport”, it’s free for me anytime. As well as its permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions. We were lucky enough to visit while there was a display titled Dans la lumière de l’impressionnisme (In the Light of Impressionism) featuring works by Edouard Debat-Ponsan (1847-1913). Many of his works were painted en plein air (outdoors) and include rural scenes, landscapes and family portraits from his home region of Languedoc, in Paris, in the Bretagne region and my local area: the Touraine.
Photography was forbidden, but this was a blessing. I was able to soak in the paintings, the use of colour and stroke to depict the light falling on the scene, the way a painting changes when you stand near or move away. I love the impressionistic style, and the subject of nature – it’s very soothing and there’s a tranquil, calming quality to most of these works. It was nice to spend an afternoon locked away in the rooms of the museum, finding peace and solace in these gentle paintings.