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"Impressionist Masterworks"

Vancouver Art Gallery
August - November 5, 2000


Paul Gauguin [1848-1903]
The Quarries of Le Chou near Pontoise
(1882), oil on canvas

It is hard to imagine that little more than one hundred years ago the 13 paintings in this exhibit were the scandal of Europe. As the virtual reality of their time, French academicians and critics declaimed such art as the debaucherous end of painting.

Once considered to be superficial and tawdry, Impressionist paintings forged the vanguard of the 20th Century voice. They were portable, created in the open air and technically casual. They reflected the ordinary world and culture of their time with an immediacy of brushstroke, manufactured pigments and minimal preparatory studies. They broke every Salon convention. And they became the most popular type of art in the Western world.

This exhibition traces the development of Impressionism through a star-studded lineup of the works of Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley. The opportunity to see the "real thing" is supported by a catalogue, lectures by leading art scholars, special tours, and hands-on activities and performances for children. For more information, see www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

© Mia Johnson