The Creuse Region
Visit a place brimming with experiences
From the first Impressionists to contemporary painters following in their footsteps, artists have been painting “from nature” along the winding paths of this valley, right at the heart of a wild and preserved natural landscape. Guidebook in hand, you too can follow in their footsteps. Head down the Sentier des Peintres (Painters’ Path) and, step by step, explore the places that inspired Claude Monet. In Guéret, the Musée d’Art et d’archéologie (Art and Archaeological Museum) has dedicated a room to the works of the Impressionists. You’ll see other examples of such work in the Espace Monet-Rollinat in Fresselines.
Today in the Creuse Valley, there are also many painters whose workshops you can visit, before heading towards the Hôtel Lépinat in Crozant. Making use of new technologies, this modern site is dedicated to the history of the valley’s painters.
The village of Gargilesse-Dampierre has not only had a history with artists, but also with writers, such as George Sand, the “Good Lady of Nohant” who had particular ties to Berry. Classed as one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, Gargilesse will enchant you from the get-go. Serge Delaveau, whose paintings are prized around the world, has a museum dedicated to his works here. A specialist in landscapes and portraiture, here you’ll find a part of this creator of oil paintings who also dabbled in other forms, from gouache, watercolour, pastels and acrylic, all the way to calligraphy, lithography and engraving.
Author George Sand also fell in love with Gargilesse after an excursion by the river. Enchanted by the light of the sunset on the village’s buildings, she decided to buy a small cottage here, much more modest than her house in the town of Nohant in Berry. Today you can visit George Sand’s house, which will seem delightfully intimate after being amid the grandiose natural surroundings and open spaces around it. You’ll discover drawings made by the writer, personal items, a display dedicated to her loved ones, period furniture and a work table.