Visit 7 Locations That Inspired Impressionist Paintings

Step through the frame with Street View and explore the locales which inspired your favorite Impressionists

By Google Arts & Culture

With content from the Toledo Museum of Art, the Museum Barberini, and more

Sunrise (Marine) (1872 or 1873) by Claude MonetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

Impressionism was a school of painting which developed in 19th Century France, seeking to catch the changeable qualities of light and human perception using short brushstrokes and a subtly varied color palette. 

Many famous Impressionist artists worked 'en plein air', setting up their easels outside to paint their surroundings. Scroll on to see seven Impressionist works, then click and drag the Street View panels to step through the frame into the landscape...

1. Gustave Caillebotte – ‘Paris Street; Rainy Day’

Gustave Caillebotte’s stunning oil painting of the Place de Dublin in Paris, created and exhibited in 1877, is perhaps the artist’s most famous work.

Caillebotte’s combines realism and impressionism. The details in the foreground are in sharp focus while the background fades away, similar to the depth of field of a camera lens.

Click to explore the area today. The streets of Place de Dublin, or Carrefour de Moscou as it was known in 1877, have a bit more traffic than they used to!

The Piazza San Marco, Venice (1881) by Pierre Auguste RenoirMinneapolis Institute of Art

2. Pierre-Auguste Renoir – ‘The Piazza San Marco, Venice’

In the autumn of 1881, Renoir visited Venice, Italy, to see the city’s Renaissance masterpieces. While there, he also painted some masterpieces of his own!

In addition to other paintings of Venetian landmarks, Renoir created this ethereal painting of St. Mark’s Basilica.

The Piazza hasn’t changed much in the centuries since Renoir visited, and tourists still flock to the spot to see the same cathedral. Click and drag to look around St. Mark’s Basilica using Street View.

Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge (1879) by Mary Stevenson Cassatt, American, 1844 - 1926Philadelphia Museum of Art

3. Mary Cassatt – ‘Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge’

Mary Cassatt, an American artist who became one of the best-known Impressionists, painted several pieces in opera boxes, or loges, including this beautiful example at the Palais Garnier in Paris.

This oil painting was created in 1879 and debuted the same year at the fourth Impressionist exhibition in Paris. Cassatt’s sister Lydia is said to be the model for this piece, as well as for others in the series.

The immaculately-gilded theater at the Palais Garnier in Paris is still in use today, so if you attend a ballet, you may sit in Mary Cassatt’s seat!

Marc Chagall’s Ceiling for the Paris Opéra Marc Chagall’s Ceiling for the Paris Opéra (1963-01-01/1964-09-23) by Marc ChagallOpéra national de Paris

Though it wasn't in Cassatt's time, the ceiling is now famously adorned with a spectacular mural by Marc Chagall. Zoom in and explore the painting in high-definition here.

Boulevard Montmartre, Spring (1897) by Camille PissarroThe Israel Museum, Jerusalem

4. Camille Pissarro – ‘Boulevard Montmartre, Spring’

Camille Pissarro’s vibrant portrayal of Paris in the springtime was painted in 1897, toward the end of his career. Pissarro is notably the only artist to have displayed work at all eight of the Paris Impressionist exhibitions.

In addition to his contributions to the Impressionist movement, Pissarro also worked with George Seurat and Paul Signac, and influenced the paintings of Vincent van Gogh.

Boulevard Montmarte is one of the grands boulevards of Paris, and its splendor is still evident today. Click to explore the charming street.

The Thames (1875) by Berthe MorisotMuseum Barberini

5. Berthe Morisot – ‘The Thames’

French artist Berthe Morisot painted this foggy picture of the Thames during her 1875 visit to London. Morisot was a brilliant and prolific artist whose career spanned a variety of media and subjects. She showcased her pieces at all but one of the Impressionist exhibitions!

The Thames, which flows through more than 200 miles of southern England, has drawn countless artists to its banks over the centuries. 

Click and drag to look around the area, and paint the scene if you’re feeling inspired!

Port of Le Havre (1874) by Claude Monet, French, 1840 - 1926Philadelphia Museum of Art

6. Claude Monet – ‘Port of Le Havre’

Claude Monet might be thought of as the original Impressionist, considering the movement was named after one of his pieces, ‘Impression, Sunrise.’ This painting depicts the same location: Le Havre, France, where Monet spent most of his adolescence.

Today, Le Havre is still a vibrant, thriving city in Normandy, France. In 2005, UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site. Use Street View to stroll down the same coast Monet did!

Aqueduct at Marly (1874) by Alfred SisleyThe Toledo Museum of Art

7. Alfred Sisley – ‘Aqueduct at Marly’

Alfred Sisley, a Paris-born artist of British descent, created this vivid scene in 1874. ‘L’Aqueduc de Louveciennes,’ as it’s known is French, was built in the 1680s and had actually been retired in favor of underground plumbing in 1866.

The Aqueduct at Marly still stands proudly, almost identical to Sisley’s oil painting. Click to explore the area!

The Japanese Footbridge (1899) by Claude MonetNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

To learn more history of Impressionism, check out 6 Things You Never Knew About Claude Monet.

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