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The Ile de Chatou, a tribute to impressionists


French writers and impressionist painters used to meet on the narrow Ile de Chatou. Visit the former Fournaise restaurant, which is now a museum... and discover the busy years of the Ile de Chatou!

The narrow Ile de Chatou, nested in a loop of the Seine river, near Rueil-Malmaison, attracted French painters and writers in the middle of the 19th century. The Parisians used to go there to make the most of the countryside’s charms. Famous painters and writers used to come and enjoy themselves.

The Fournaise restaurant, opened in 1857, became famous for the quality of the food. Curious food lovers used to rush up from Paris to have lunch. Among them, famous writers such as Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant or Emile Zola. Alphonsine Fournaise became the muse of painters such as Edgar Degas or Auguste Renoir, who painted her in his famous Déjeuner des canotiers.

From now on, at the back of the restaurant, a museum tells us all about the canoeing trend and the busy years the Ile de Chatou had.

Useful information:

  • L’île des impressionnistes, 78400 Chatou
  • Access by RER A (Rueil-Malmaison) or by car from Paris (take highway A14 then A86, exit Chatou)
  • Contact: +33 (0)1 30 61 61 35

More information on the musée Fournaise website.

Picture: © L’Internaute Magazine, Ariane Gaudefroy