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Through the eyes of a master

Through the eyes of a master

Saturday 26 September 2020

Through the eyes of a master


Renoir's links to Guernsey will be showcased next week at a special exhibition that will feature an original artwork painted during the famed artist's time in the island.

Art for Guernsey has curated a digitally immersive exhibition to celebrate Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s significance to the island, which has only been unearthed to the wider community in the last few years.

The famous French Impressionist spent just over a month on the island in 1883 and worked on 15 paintings during his stay, the majority depicting views of Moulin Huet.

In 2019, Art for Guernsey sought to capitalise on this connection by putting together the Renoir Walk, now a permanent fixture in the Moulin Huet valley, and in doing so, discovered from Cyrille Sciama, a world-renowned art curator, that Renoir’s stay on the island marked an important turning point in his career.

Earlier this year, Art for Guernsey syndicated a group of local art collectors to acquire one of his original paintings. Rochers de Guernesey avec personnages (plage à Guernesey) is widely considered to be one of the best pieces Renoir painted during his stay and is one of just five of the original ‘Guernsey-painted’ pieces still in private hands.

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Pictured: Art For Guernsey Founder David Ummels at Moulin Huet, where the group has set up the Renoir Walk. 

Visitors to the art exhibition, Through the Eyes of a Master, will be able to view this original artwork, now returned 'home' to where it was painted in 1883.

Innovative videos and enlightening information panels will give visitors an understanding of Renoir the artist and the man, plus the role Guernsey played in the new direction his art took following his stay.

"The team has worked incredibly hard over the last few months to prepare this exhibition," said Art For Guernsey Founder David Ummels. 

"We are aiming to create a very special and joyful event for islanders, including our school students, to engage with an artwork of unique significance for Guernsey."

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Pictured: Rochers de Guernesey avec personnages (plage à Guernesey) is widely considered to be one of the best pieces Renoir painted during his stay here.

Art for Guernsey has engaged with the Disability Alliance to make this event fully accessible to all, and will run a satellite event at the Ron Short Centre showcasing the brilliant artworks produced by their members during lockdown.

"We are incredibly proud to have engaged with the Disability Alliance and we are dedicating the first day of the exhibition exclusively to their members," said Mr Ummels.

"It has been one of our key goals to deliver an individually curated experience for them and to create the opportunity to access art and culture in the best possible conditions, to rebuild their confidence and re-engage in public life after what for many of them has been a long period of isolation. Most importantly, we want everybody on the island to feel welcome."

Entry to the exhibition at Beau Sejour will be free of charge.

The opening day, Monday 28 September, will be dedicated to members of the Disability Alliance, and from Tuesday 29 September the exhibition will be open to everyone from 09:00 – 21:00 with the exception of the final day, Sunday 4 October, when it will close at 16:00. 

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