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Renoir: A Village Honors Renoir
by
Kathy Sullivan

RenoirThe village of Essoyes dan l’Aube, not far from Troyes in Champagne, is small but offers many remnants of Renoir’s bucolic summers. Travelers to Troyes should take time to visit the home, the gardens, and art studio where Renoir spent years creating his masterpieces. The gardens between Renoir’s home and studio remain. When visiting Renoir’s summer home, people will see the environment which influenced some of Renoir’s paintings.

Renoir and his wife spent many summers in Essoyes. Our tour took us to visit and explore the studio where paints and canvas remain as if awaiting for Renoir to return and pick up his paint brush tipped with paint.

In the town and close to Renoir’s home and studio, a tourist center provides information. The actual location was originally Renoir’s stables. The old building is now the location of a permanent exhibition of Renoir’s artwork. Visitors and art enthusiasts view a short video and many of Renoir’s paintings with descriptions. The write-ups for the paintings are in French and English. In addition, the tourist center offers a variety of products for sale including Renoir umbrellas, books and art.

Renoir

Renoir worked in his home for ten years before beginning to work in his studio that was built in 1906 across the yard from his house.

RenoirThe studio located at the end of the yard is two-stories. A stairway on the outside of the building leads to the second floor. The second floor is one large room and various paintings are arranged on easels around the room. Near the center of the room a large colorful bed with pillows is likely where models posed as Renoir captured their likenesses on the canvas. Renoir’s paints and paint brushes are displayed in his wood paint box.

Renoir’s Home

RenoirThe home appears to be modest but comfortable for that time period. However, it is the result of two homes joined together. Outside the gardens include vegetables, flowers and an orchard. According to a posted sign: “The house that can be see at certain times of year is so harmonious that it is difficult to imagine that it was originally two different houses, the first of which they bought in 1896. Renoir himself designed the central structure that unites the two. The ground floor was then transformed into a studio, at Aline’s bidding, because she wanted to keep Renoir near her. Later, the current studio was built at the end of the garden.

RenoirRenoir’s garden consisted of an orchard and a vegetable patch, which Madame Renoir herself tended for as long as she could. The new garden evokes the simplicity that was so dear to the partner; luxuriant bush-like plants contrast with the long and slender flowers; different varieties of wild grass are scattered among the santolina and euphorbia. In springtime the bulbs shoot up in borders and the old rose buses perfume the months of May and June. In autumn the rudbeckia light up the banks with their yellow disks while the hellebore and Christmas rose mark the end of winter.”

Beyond the studio building more garden area can be seen. A pathway leads to the Renoir family cemetery.

A Special Champagne Tasting at Renoir’s Home

We walked through the yard from the studio to Renoir’s three-story home. The Renoir home was opened for a special wine tasting for the International Wine Tourism familiarization group.

RenoirSeveral champagne producers provided tastings of their champagnes.
Charles Collin provided a La Belle Gabrielli. This yellow champagne had a single bead of bubbles with a small mousse. The wine was produced with 80 percent Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. The dosage was 10 grams per liter. It was disgorged in 2014. The champagne offered notes of citrus and mineral.

Mercuzot Brut was a yellow color with several columns of beads and a large mousse. The champagne with a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir offered notes of citrus. The champagne, produced with malolactic fermentation, was disgorged in September 2014. The dosage was seven grams per liter. There was a citrus aroma and taste.

RenoirBrut Remy Massing was produced with Pinot Noir. The yellow wine had columns of beads and a mousse. The wine was produced with malolactic fermentation. The dosage was completed in September 2014 with 6.5 grams per liter. The champagne offered notes of citrus, peach and mineral.

Tourism Information

Renoir is buried at a site close to his home. It is an easy walk from the studio to his gravesite.

Du Côtés des Renoir Place de la Mairie
10360 Essoyes
France

Website: www.renoir-essoyes.com



Article written June 2015


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