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Event Item: 00033
Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism
Exhibition: 22nd Feb 2008 to 11th May 2008
This exhibition of forty French and American paintings represents some of the finest examples of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century landscapes from the renowned collection of the Brooklyn Museum, being shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.
The earliest works in the exhibition, dating from the 1850s and 1860s, demonstrate the impact of progressive, plein-air sketching practices on French landscape painting. They include important imagery by Barbizon and Realist painters, such as Charles François Daubigny, Henri-Joseph Harpignies and Gustave Courbet.
Heirs to this plein-air tradition, French Impressionists painted highly elaborated "impressions"that is, the seemingly spontaneous, rapidly executed canvases that prompted the name of their movement. Featured in the exhibition are works by some of the most popular French Impressionists including Eugene Boudin (the subject of a monographic exhibition at VMFA November 2007-January 2008), Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. A particular highlight is Monet's late, shimmering vision of a Venetian palace.
Following in the footsteps of these French exemplars, many late nineteenth-century American painters found inspiration in the streets of Paris as well as the city's rural environs. Atmospheric images by George Inness, Theodore Robinson, John Singer Sargent, and Julian Alden Weir are among the featured strengths of Brooklyn's holdings.
The exhibition also reveals how Americans selectively absorbed the high-keyed palette and broken brushwork of Impressionism when painting local subjects of leisure and labor. Many Americans continued to work in an Impressionist vein through the first two decades of the twentieth century. The ever-popular style continues to delight viewers today.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia