The island has a thriving arts scene and is home to several highly accomplished and recognised artists. It also boasts a rich and colourful art history, with its picturesque landscapes and rugged coastlines having captivated some truly great painters.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir is one of the most celebrated French impressionists and he spent a month painting in Guernsey in 1883, inspired by the beauty of the island. He worked on 15 paintings, all showcasing the stunning views of Moulin Huet. In fact, one of the paintings from the series is now displayed in London’s National Gallery.
Peter Le Lievre is perhaps one of the most well-known local artists and his watercolour representations of St Peter Port demonstrate an enticing insight into life on the harbour in the mid 1800’s. Le Lievre also designed two lighthouses for St Peter Port but unfortunately, these were only exhibited publicly after his death in 1978.
Today, there is still a hive of artistic talent that resides on the island, showcasing artistic expressions in all forms. It is these talents that make up an abundance of the independent shops and galleries that line its picturesque streets.
As a celebration for the life and work of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Art for Guernsey offers a unique walking tour that follows in Renoir’s footsteps. Five steel frames are placed around the island and replicate the positions from which the artist worked on his paintings. QR codes on the frames allow you to take part in a fascinating audio guide to truly get a feel for Renoir’s work.
No art enthusiast should miss out on the opportunity to visit the Guernsey Art Gallery and Museum, located in the beautiful Candie Gardens overlooking St Peter Port. The gallery contains the first significant collection of art work gifted to Guernsey by retired diplomat Wilfred Corey in 1929. It now holds over 500 paintings for you to enjoy.
Castle Cornet also holds an impressive painting collection in its maritime museum. As its name suggests, most of the artwork on display is based around maritime subjects, as well as different depictions of the Castle Cornet from various periods in history.
The art in Guernsey is supported by the Art of Guernsey Initiative, a charity created and supported by David Ummels, a Guernsey resident and art collector. Ummels uses his relationships in the art world to invite one renowned artist a year over to Guernsey to become inspired by the island’s beauty and create art that will be displayed in a 2-week long exhibition at the market place. The initiative gives the islanders an opportunity to discover high quality artwork for free and supports the local community through inspiring the art and education development in Guernsey.
The only way to truly understand the art in Guernsey is to discover it for yourself! Book your journey today and get ready to become immersed in some breath-taking works of art, inspired by the beauty that the island holds.