Tuesday, August 11, 2015

300 Years of French Landscape Painting

Works by some  of France’s most celebrated painters are featured in From the Collection: 300 Years of French Landscape Painting, a new exhibition open July 17 – October 11 at the Toledo  Museum of Art. Curated by Lawrence W. Nichols,  William Hutton senior curator of European and American  painting and sculpture before 1900, this small, insightful show offers a chronological survey of the  French approach to painting landscape . 

“Drawn entirely from the  Museum’s collection, the exhibition includes a single, stunning  example selected from each of the many styles of representation that define the tradition of rendering  nature,” Nichols said.

Beginning with Claude Lorrain’s 17th - century classicism 

Claude Lorrain - Landscape with Nymph and Satyr Dancing
and François Boucher’s Rococo fantasy, 

François Boucher - Mill at Charenton

it continues through the 19th century with
Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (Neo classicism),   

Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes - Classical Landscape with Figures Drinking by a Fountain

Pierre -Etienne-Théodore Rousseau (Barbizon School ), 

Pierre-Étienne-Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812–1867), Under the Birches, Evening, oil on wood panel, 1842–43. 16 5/8 x 25 3/8 in. 
Gustave Courbet (Realism), 

Gustave Courbet The Trellis (Young Woman Arranging Flowers) 
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Impressionism) 
and concludes with Paul Cézanne (Post - Impressionism).

Avenue at Chantilly landscape painting (1888) by Paul Cézanne at Toledo Museum of Art

“This exhibition is unusual in that paintings  spanning three centuries  are being installed chronologically in the gallery. Visitors will be able to see  the common threads among these artists as  well as the emergence of new  styles,” Nichols noted.   

Among the works  displayed are the Museum’s recently acquired   

Charles – François Daubigny painting,  Auvers, Landscape with Plough , in which the French countryside is  realistically  captured , and   

 Renoir’s Road at Wargemont, which  focuses on the effect of light and color in nature. 

“Daubigny is considered to be part of the Barbizon School, but in this particular painting you can see the influence of Impression ism emerging in his work. Renoir paints a real place, but he is more  interested in using emotional means to express it,” Nichols said , comparing them .