Located near the banks of the Marne River, Eugène Carrière museum traces the life and work of the post-impressionist painter, Eugène Carrière (1849-1906), a native of Gournay. Paintings, original drawings, personal items, the painter’s library and vintage photographs are presented and demonstrate his friendship with Rodin, Verlaine, Gauguin and Clemenceau.
Although Eugène Carrière enjoyed critical acclaim during his lifetime and met some famous people from his time, he is today not so well-known by the public at large. Nevertheless, his work influenced Picasso who drew inspiration from his game of shadows and light and he was the teacher of Matisse. He painted the portraits of the celebrities of his time, such as Alphonse Daudet, Verlaine and also Gauguin. Today some of these paintings are exhibited in most of the major museums: Musée d’Orsay in Paris, modern Tate Gallery in London, Ermitage museum in Saint-Pétersbourg or at the MoMA in New York.
Eugène Carrière was modern and a humanist. He took part in the defense of Dreyfus with Zola and Clemenceau, supported the emancipation of women, and questioned the death penalty. Very involved in the artistic life of his time, he fought to organize the “autumn fair” in 1903 where it bore witness to the birth of “fauvism” (painterly qualities and strong colour emphasized).
The museum collections come mainly from the private archives of the painter’s grandson. It was gradually increased through multiple purchases and donations. It exhibits around a hundred red chalk drawings, chalk or charcoal, personal items, photographs of the artist and his family, Eugène Carrière’s library with no less than ninety authentic autographed editions by authors, portraits, landscapes and intimate scenes that he produced, as well as posters, lithographs, etchings and lithograph stones, and all of his correspondence…
The museum is open every sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Guided tours in english each first sunday of the month.
Enjoy the visit to discover the Marne River on a cruise or a walk along its banks.