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Watermill in Pont-Aven, by Paul Gauguin, 1894
Watermill in Pont-Aven, by Paul Gauguin, 1894
Coat of arms of Pont-Aven
Coat of arms
Pont-Aven is located in France
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Country France
Region Brittany
Department Finistère
Arrondissement Quimper
Canton Pont-Aven
Intercommunality Concarneau-Cornouaille
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Jean-Marie Le Bret
Area1 28.63 km2 (11.05 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 2,929
 • Density 100/km2 (260/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 29217 / 29930
Elevation 0–102 m (0–335 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Pont-Aven is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France.


Inhabitants of Pont-Aven are called in French Pontavenistes.

Historical population of Pont-Aven
Year 1793 1800 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851 1856 1861
Population 2037 2148 1824 1955 2027 2076 2231 2342 2295 2459
Year 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896 1901 1906 1911
Population 2453 2450 2659 2777 2976 3101 3190 3370 3610 3819
Year 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975 1982
Population 3648 3805 3647 3798 4052 3643 3699 3684 3530 3295
Year 1990 1999 2008
Population 3031 2960 2929



Pont-Aven is mainly known because of the group of artists who flocked round Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, and who were joined in 1888 by Paul Sérusier. They were collectively known as "Pont-Aven School" (French: École de Pont-Aven, Breton: Skol Pont-Aven).

Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art (PASCA) is an international fine arts program located in the historic artists' colony of Pont-Aven (Brittany, France). The student body is made up of third-year university or art college honors students or post-baccalaureate art majors (fourth/fifth-year) seeking further study.

The Musée des Beaux Arts de Pont-Aven houses a historical reconstruction of Pont-Aven at the end of the 19th century as well as a permanent collection dedicated to the Pont-Aven School.

Pont Aven still attracts artists and art lovers with many commercial galleries in addition to the town's public gallery.

Waterway at Pont-Aven


The Aven River runs through Pont-Aven. The river has relatively favourable water quality, with pH levels slightly alkaline at about 8.5 and electrical conductivity of 19 micro Siemens per centimeter.[1]

The town is at the interface of the tidal estuary and the freshwater river.


Before Pont-Aven attracted Gauguin and other artists it was a centre for milling with the river Aven being divided above the town to provide a mill race which powers a series of water mills. Whilst several of these retain their wheels only the last, the Moulin Poulguin, is still capable of operating. The mill is now a restaurant and you can see the machinery inside.

Just outside the town are the beech woods of the Bois d'Amour, a source of inspiration for many artists. The town is close to Domaine de Kerlann Holiday Park on the road to the adjoining commune of Nevez. To the northwest of the town, in the small community of Nizon, the beautiful ruins of Château de Rustéphan are to be found.

Popular culture

The Brittany Ferries flagship is named after the town.

Les Galettes de Pont-Aven is a 1975 drama on the life of a middle-aged aspirant painter who settles in the town.

See also


  1. Hogan, C Michael, "Water quality of fresh water bodies in northern France", Lumina Press, Aberdeen, Scotland 2006

External links