"Stratford on Aven" Pont-Aven by JohnnySpangles
Pont-Aven Travel Guide: 35 reviews and 147 photos
This is one of those little towns, like Stratford on Avon, who’s only claim to fame is that somebody famous once lived there. Pont Aven’s bumper-sticker star was the artist and serial philanderer Paul Gauguin. This is the man that fell out with Van Gogh and then left his wife and kids to go make merry with native girls in Tahiti. Both of which turned out to be disastrous moves as not only did the daft bugger fail to hang on to any of Vincent’s canvasses (worth millions now) but he also caught syphilis after a lifetime’s behaving like a dog with two dicks.
Considering that Gauguin is the lifeblood of this tourist-town they’ve done little to preserve the historical significance of his residency. The house where he lived is no longer there and the town’s art gallery doesn’t have any paintings by him. It’s the same disregard for heritage that allowed the wise burghers of Liverpool to turn the Cavern Club into a car park. No doubt Gauguin’s house had to be demolished to make way for another Gauguin Souvenir-SuperMarche.
However if you want to really consume the history and heritage of Pont-Aven then the following are available by the bucket-load in every shop window…
Gauguin Biscuits, Gauguin Cakes Gauguin Dolls, Gauguin Key-Rings, Gauguin Books, Gauguin Bookmarks, Gauguin Clocks, Gauguin Condoms (shame he never used them himself), Gauguin T-Shirts (My friend went to Pont-Aven and all he got me was this lousy T-Chemise) and bad paintings done by all manner of artists, apart from Gauguin.
However I’m sure that once the hordes of day-trippers have gone and the ‘tourist-menus’ are replaced by more reasonably-priced ‘evening-menus’ then maybe Pont-Aven is just a nice little town with a nice little bridge over a nice little river, probably much like it was before Gauguin ever arrived.
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