Featured Exhibition Galleries, Bloch Building
This exhibition requires tickets.
Experience the pleasure and excitement of traveling through mid-19th century France. From Paris to the countryside, the top of Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean, this exhibition features approximately 125 key paintings and photographs by well-known Impressionists such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, as well as important photographs by Gustave Le Gray and Édouard Baldus.
Impressionist France explores connections between landscape and national identity during a period in which France was being fundamentally transformed and modernized. Painters and photographers composed competing visions of France as modern and industrialized or, in equally potent terms, as rural and anti-modern.
Within this historical context key artists emerged and drew inspiration, including Monet, Pissarro and others from the Impressionist generation. It is also during this period that influential photographers, such as Le Gray, Baldus, and the Bisson frères profoundly advanced the practice of photography from amateur experimentation to artistic mastery, while also demonstrating its value as a vital documentary tool for state-sponsored agendas.
This exhibition showcases works never before seen in the region, and include important paintings and photographs from 36 major American and European museums and several private collections.
Listen as April M. Watson, Associate Curator of Photography at the
Nelson–Atkins and Simon Kelly, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Saint Louis, share a glass of wine and reminisce about the evolution of this first–of–its–kind exhibition.
This exhibition has been co-organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Saint Louis Art Museum. Support is provided by the Hall Family Foundation, Marion and Henry Bloch, Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, James Sight and Dr. Heidi Harman, Donald J. Hall, Tom and Jean McDonnell, The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film, and the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions.
This exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support has been provided by the Honorary Committee.
Édouard Manet, French (1832-1883). The Rue Mosnier with Flags, 1878. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 31 3/4 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 89.PA.71.
Camille Silvy, French (1834-1910). River Scene, 1858. Gold-toned albumen print from two collodion glass negatives, 9 5/8 x 14 7/16 inches. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Bequeathed by Chauncey Hare Townshend, 68:012.
Claude Monet, French (1840-1926). The Promenade with the Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874. Oil on canvas, 21 1/8 x 28 3/8 inches. Saint Louis Art Museum. Gift of Sydney M. Shoenberg Sr., 45:1973.
Gustave Le Gray, French (1820-1884). Group of Ships Departing Le Havre, ca. 1856. Albumen print from collodion glass negative, 12 1/8 x 16 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2007.21.18.
Claude Monet, French (1840-1926). Regatta at Sainte-Adresse, 1867. Oil on canvas, 29 5/8 x 40 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of William Church Osborn, 1951, 51.30.4.
Louis-Auguste Bisson, French (1814-1876) and Auguste-Rosalie Bisson, French (1826-1900). Sérac, Meeting of the Bossons and Taconnaz, ca. 1862. Albumen print from collodion glass negative, 9 1/16 x 15 1/16 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2010.30.3.
Background Image: Édouard Manet, French (1832-1883). The Rue Mosnier with Flags (detail), 1878. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 31 3/4 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 89.PA.71.