Two and a half hours southeast of Paris and an hour and
and a half northeast of Dijon, in the heart of the Champagne region, nestled in the rolling vineyards, forests and fields of eastern France, is a small village (pop.
650), called Essoyes (pronounced ESS-wah). Within 50 kilometers from the center of town are dozens
of the world's finest champagne producers as well as some of the world's most celebrated cathedrals, chateaux, villages, restaurants,
and beautiful landscapes.
Essoyes was also home to both Pierre Auguste Renoir, the great Impressionist
painter, and his son, filmmaker Jean Renoir. Today visitors to Essoyes can visit the Renoir Cultural Center, which celebrates
the life of the Renoir family in Essoyes; visit the painter's studio and stroll in the landscapes that inspired him; meet
local artists who are continuing to produce beautiful and interesting work in their studios today; and visit the graves of
the Renoir family in the village cemetery.
One cup old fashioned...One cup avante garde, a heaping teaspoon of inspiration and a pinch of revolution are the
main ingredients of The Essoyes School.