Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Through January 9, 2022
Crocker Art Museum
“Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism from the Dixon Galleries and Gardens” features 50 works by some of the most well-known artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
From the organizers:
The exhibition boasts significant works of art by the most dynamic artists to work in this period in France, including Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse. From plein-air landscapes to scenes of modern life in Paris, the exhibition illustrates the radical innovations launched by artists we know today as Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.
Georges Hausmann’s transformation of the French capital from a chaotic web of medieval streets to a more orderly system of wide, tree-lined boulevards coincided with a bustling energy in Paris’s many cafés and parks. Keenly observing the new world around them, a group of artists dedicated themselves to “painting modern life” on location to capture a quick impression of a particular moment in nature. Ultimately known as the Impressionists, the artists organized eight exhibitions between 1874 and 1886, changing the course of art history and revolutionizing the way art was viewed in Paris and, eventually, around the world.
The term “Impressionism” was coined by the artist and art critic Louis Leroy, when he witnessed the first of these exhibitions. Focusing on Claude Monet’s painting Impression: Sunrise, he reacted to its seemingly unfinished, hazy evocation of the sun reflected on the sea, finding it the epitome of a type of art he disliked. The artists themselves soon embraced the term, branding themselves “Impressionists.”
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