Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Impressionism: The Art of Landscape

Museum Barberini, Potsdam
January 23–May 28, 2017

Impressionist landscapes were not spontaneous mood paintings but were used by artists as a place to carry out their experiments. These artists liberated landscapes from their historic and symbolic significance. Designed to appeal to all the senses, the exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape is divided into eight themes with 92 works which represent landscape painting as the guiding genre of Impressionism. With works by artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Gustave Caillebotte the exhibition brings major representatives of Impressionism to Potsdam.

In the 19th century, Impressionist painters developed an awareness of the present that revolutionized art and continues to permeate events in painting in our time. Although their audience was in Paris and the city itself contained many motifs, landscapes provided the most important subject matter for Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, and Gustave Caillebotte. Against this backdrop they were able to test new artistic techniques.

The exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape examines for the first time the experimental domains found in Impressionist landscapes. Artists depicted the sea, forest paths, meadows, gardens, snowy landscapes, and reflections on the surface of water, addressing all the viewer's senses. The show presents masterpieces in the context of 92 paintings which come from 32 international museums and private collections. They are displayed in thematic sections, showing series of the most important motifs. The exhibition sheds new light on Impressionist artists and their obsession with their own individual perception of light and nature.

For the exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape a catalog has been published in German and English by Prestel Verlag, Munich. It contains a preface by the museum's founder and patron Hasso Plattner. Essays by Stephen F. Eisenman, Christoph Heinrich, Nancy Ireson, Stefan Koldehoff, Richard Schiff and Ortrud Westheider are based on the first conference held by the Museum Barberini, which took place on June 28, 2016 in Potsdam. 252 pages.

Gustave Caillebotte: The Argenteuil Bridge and the Seine, c. 1883, private collection

Claude Monet: Water Lilies, 1914–1917, private collection,\

Claude Monet: Water Lilies or The Water Lily Pond, 1904, Denver Art Museum

Claude Monet: Low Tide at Les Petites-Dalles, 1884, private collection

Alfred Sisley: The Meadow at Veneux-Nadon, 1881, private collection, Scan: RECOM ART

Claude Monet: Under the Poplars, 1887, private collection, Scan: RECOM ART

Claude Monet: Poplars at Giverny, 1887, private collection, Scan: RECOM ART

Alfred Sisley: My House at Moret, 1892, private collection, Scan: RECOM ART

Claude Monet: Grainstack, Sunlight, Snow Effect, 1891, private collection

Claude Monet: Frost at Giverny, 1885, private collection