A History of Impressionism


August 29, 2012 – With the exhibition A History of Impressionism – Great French Paintings from the Clark, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts invites art lovers to observe, through the works of several great French masters, the birth and evolution of Impressionism in the 19th century. The event offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a major collection situated within its historical context. Rarely has Montréal been witness to such a high concentration of renowned paintings from this period.

The special feature of this exhibition of 73 paintings and one sculpture, Degas's famous Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, is that it presents classical, Pre-Impressionist, and Impressionist works side by side, which allows for the viewer to easily see the differences between each genre. Grouped by themes (landscapes, scenes of daily life, still lifes, nudes, portraits, views of the city or the sea), the collection illustrates the diversity of interests and styles of the artists who embraced the new direction of the era.

The exhibition offers a nuanced selection of fine masterpieces by Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Gauguin, Morisot, as well as 21 outstanding canvasses by Renoir. The Impressionist chefs-d'oeuvre are placed into a historical context alongside Academic artworks by Gérôme, Bouguereau, and Alma-Tadema, and Neoclassical paintings by Corot, Millet, and Rousseau, the latter group embracing a form of Realism that would come to its full development in the art of the Impressionists.

Learn more about this fascinating story from October 13, 2012, to January 20, 2013, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.