The Impressionists and Yachting on the Seine – Paris to Deauville – Origins to 1894
|©François Chevalier - Lézard, Caillebotte design, 1891
Contrary to public thought, French yachting was born on the inland waterways before establishing on the coasts. In this regard, Paris was one of the most important cradles of yachting - Boating appeared there circa 1800-1830, progressing downstream slowly over time.
Without delving into too much detail, the Impressionist movement took off in Normandy, in the area around Le Havre. Soon enough seascapes, riverscapes and boats became important subjects for the Impressionist painters. And they did not leave it at painting! In the latter part of the 19th century, they often engaged in sailing themselves along with other artists and writers. From Sunday boating to cruises, races, naval architecture and even shipbuilding, to some extent almost all of them were involved in yachting.
As key witnesses to the beginnings of yachting in France, the Impressionists have become an important point of interest to us in the last fifteen years. Carrying out our research as faithfully as for our previous works, especially America's Cup Yacht Designs, 1851-1986, we have decided to publish our findings in two to three years' time. Apart from the history, this work will feature the plans of the boats that the Impressionists sailed or imagined as well as their own masterpieces – some famous paintings and others less well known – in a substantial 800-page production of the same quality and format as our earliest works!
We shall return here regularly to inform you of our findings.
François Chevalier & Jacques Taglang.