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Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence

Updated: Aug 21, 2023



Kathleen and Georges came to our home immersion in November 2019. Doing an immersion was a dream for Kathleen. At the start of her stay, she told me that she wanted to visit Renoir's house. We therefore put everything in place to make this possible. That’s why today Kathleen can share her adventure with us.



Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Picture of Auguste Renoir

We went to Renoir's house in Cros de Cagnes one day in November with our teacher Virginie. Unfortunately the museum was only open 2 hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon in November. We would have needed more time to see everything.


Auguste Renoir and his family

Pierre-August Renoir known as August Renoir was born in Limoges on February 25, 1841 and died at the Domaine des Collettes in Cagnes-sur-Mer on December 3, 1919. He was one of the most famous French painters. In collaboration with the sculptor Richard Guino, he also created major sculptures. Auguste Renoir married Aline Charigot. They had 3 sons: Pierre, Jean and Claude. Pierre Renoir was an actor. Claude was a ceramist. Jean was a French director and screenwriter.

Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Family tree of the Renoir family

Renoir’s Museum environment


The Renoir museum is located in Cagnes-sur-Mer, a small village by the sea. The coast of Cagnes-sur-Mer is 3.5 km of pebble beaches which give the Mediterranean this deep blue hue. Le Cros-de-Cagnes, locality in the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer, is a former fishing port. Becoming a dynamic seaside resort in 1971, Cros-de-Cagnes has to preserve its maritime traditions.

Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Sea view

The Renoir Museum is located in the heart of a sumptuous estate planted with olive trees and citrus trees. On the estate there is the house (on 3 floors), the garden and the workshop outside.



Renoir’s house

In the house on the ground floor, there are sculptures by Renoir and his assistant Richard Guino. The fact that Guino’s participation was indispensable in the creation of the sculptures has only recently been recognized. Guino's sculptures resemble the women Renoir painted.

Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Sculpture representing Claude Renoir

On the other floors, furniture, paintings and "artefacts" (manufactured objects) by Renoir are on display. The most interesting things for me were the photographs of Renoir and his family. Some photographs showed his family at different ages but Renoir appeared to be still old. And then I was surprised to find such a big bathroom and such a big kitchen.


Renoir’s workshop

There was also Renoir's large workshop with his wheelchair, easel and a palette. Renoir suffered from severe arthritis, so he used a wheelchair.


Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Wheelchair, easel and pallet of Renoir

Other sites to visit on the estate were the garden and the outdoor workshop. In 2019, the Renoir garden workshop was rebuilt identically for "2019, Centenaire Renoir".

Renoir had this workshop built with large windows so that he could see the models outside while staying warm. And a lot of the models were naked! The garden was very beautiful with a lot of tall and old trees.


Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
The garden

More information about Renoir’s life


There were also two videos. The first video was an interview with one of his favorite models. She was older in the video. The other video was about Renoir and his estate as seen by his son Jean, the famous director. The comments on both videos were very informative about Renoir and his life.


Renoir bought the estate in Cagnes sur Mer in hopes of helping his arthritis. He lived there for the last twelve years of his life. Claude, his youngest son, inherited the estate after Renoir's death.



A big day for us!


It was raining heavily that day and it was Georges, my husband, who drove so that I could chat with Virginie in peace.  We owe him a great debt.

Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Cagnes-sur-Mer



After visiting the museum, we didn't go straight back to Virginie's place, we went to the kindergarten of Tom and Lily, the children of Virginie.



Our presentation!

There, the children in Tom's class were waiting for us to give them a presentation about the United States. Tom was very proud to see us arrive. Georges and I were very stressed about this idea. And yet everything went very well. The children were adorable. They made us feel very welcome.


Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Kathleen and Georges

We talked to them about the means of transportation to come to the United States. We showed them the different animals that can be found in the United States, especially Florida. We also drew a parallel between the sports practiced in France and in the United States and many other things.


Visit the Renoir Museum and a French school with Kathleen and Georges during their stay in Provence
Kathleen


The presentation was short because the children remain focused for a short time at this age. The children in Tom's class are 5 years old. It was short but intense. The children all participated. We laughed together. It’s one of the best memories of my stay.


If you are coming for an immersion stay in Provence, I really invite you to contact Virginie in Provence. She will be happy to make you discover the different aspects of Provence: landscapes and scents, but also culture, gastronomy... while helping you to improve your French.

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