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"Impressionist Masterworks from the National Gallery of Canada"
2000-08-31 until 2000-11-05
Vancouver Art Gallery
Impressionist Masterworks from the National Gallery of Canada is a collection of 13 exquisite paintings by celebrated Impressionist
artists, presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery from August 31 to November 5, 2000. Shown for the first time in British Columbia in
over forty years, the exhibition traces the development of impressionism through the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet,
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Louis-Eugène Boudin, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.
The first Impressionist exhibition of 1874 exploded like a bombshell in the complacent world of French academic art. The young artists
who participated in this show and the seven exhibitions that followed, had abandoned historical subjects and turned their attention to the
world around them. Paradoxically, the greatest art is often confronted with initial rejection. Canada’s own Group of Seven was, at first,
poorly received especially by the academic painters resulting in minimal sales of the Group’s work. In a similar circumstance, the work of the
Impressionists, now perhaps the most popular art in the world, was not immediately accepted on their home ground. The light-filled
atmosphere and brilliance of brushstroke, an unfinished quality and the lack of appropriate subject matter which included landscape,
portraiture and still life seemed incomprehensible to many.
This lack of support led the Impressionists to band together and exhibit on their own. Although the first of these shows in 1874 shocked
and discomfited the French artistic world, by their last exhibit in 1886, the battle had been largely won. The outcasts - Gauguin, Cézanne,
Monet, Boudin, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley – were finally recognized for their significant contribution and profound
impact on the artistic life of France and subsequently on the western world.
Experience the light-filled atmosphere of Cézanne’s Meadow and Farm of Jas de Bouffan, the shimmering blues of Monet’s Waterloo
Bridge: The Sun in Fog and the vivid expression of Degas’ At the Café-concert. This collection of works is a splendid opportunity to view
Canada’s national collection of Impressionist works.
A Stormy Sea, c.1884, (detail),
oil on canvas,
National Gallery of Canada