Drawing largely from its impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist holdings, The Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s latest exhibit offers new perspectives on the inventiveness and vision that the artists from these movements brought to their subjects.
The Impressionist’s Eye presents a broad survey of more than 80 works in a variety of media such as painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and pastels. The pieces were chosen to highlight the virtuosity of the celebrated artists and to demonstrate their versatility, experimentation, and innovation as well as the fluidity with which they moved from one medium to another.
Works by Manet, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Renoir, Morisot, Cassatt, Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin and many others are arranged by themes: landscapes, still lifes, portraits, nudes, and scenes of modern life. The exhibition explores the perspective and originality that the artists brought to their subjects. Cropping, unusual angles, flattened grounds, vibrant color, and vigorous brushwork are some of the tools used to add startling modern angles to their paintings and drawings.
Claude Monet’s stunning Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny, beckons at the entrance to the exhibit. Highlights include Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers along with the artist’s Haystacks, made with reed and quill pens and brown ink over graphite on wove paper, once owned by Henri Matisse. The exhibit culminates in a close examination of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s The Great Bathers, which was recently repaired and restored to be displayed in 2019 during the centennial of the artist’s death.
The installation also provides insights into the tastes and cultural life of Philadelphia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which was a center for art collecting during these periods. The Impressionist’s Eye is on view through August 18 in the Main Galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.
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