I had again the pleasure to meet some bloggers! Paris received a visit (for the eighth time?) by Bob and his wife, here to celebrate a marriage anniversary. Cergie came up with the good suggestion that we should meet at "La Maison Fournaise", a little bit outside Paris, for lunch. Olivier joined us, as well as Cergie's husband. This used to be a place where the impressionists went.
"La Maison Fournaise" is situated on the banks of the Seine River on the Chatou Island (Ile de Chatou). It opened as a restaurant by Mr. Fournaise in 1857. People met here until the beginning of the 20th century for eating, drinking, dancing, rowing on the Seine... The place was much visited by especially the impressionist painters (Monet, Manet, Sisley, Morisot, Pissarro, Degas, Caillebotte...), perhaps particularly by Renoir, who was a frequent visitor during years ("You can find me any time at Fournaise's"....).
You can here see a painting by Renoir from the restaurant terrace - where you can also see us sitting around a table -,"Le déjeuner des canotiers" ("The luncheon of the boating party"), painted in 1881 and today at the Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington DC. Mr. Fournaise is standing on the left, his daughter Alphonsine (often a model to the painters) is leaning against the terrace railing. (The mother was probably in the kitchen.)
Guy de Maupassant was another regular guest. He refers to the place in several of his novels (under a different name) and also left a poem on a wall.
After having been closed a few decades, "La Maison Fournaise" was again opened after renovation in 1990.