Wednesday, February 26, 2020

True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870

National Gallery of Art, Washington;
February 2 – May 3, 2020

Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris,
June 13–September 13, 2020

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge,
October 6, 2020–January 31, 2021

Léon-François-Antoine Fleury, The Tomb of Caecilia Metella, c. 1830, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Frank Anderson Trapp, 2004.166.16
An integral part of art education in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, painting en plein air was a core practice for avant-garde artists in Europe. Intrepid artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille CorotJohn ConstableSimon DenisJules Coignet, and André Giroux—highly skilled at quickly capturing effects of light and atmosphere—made sometimes arduous journeys to paint their landscapes in person at breathtaking sites, ranging from the Baltic coast and Swiss Alps to the streets of Paris and ruins of Rome. Drawing on new scholarship, this exhibition of some 100 oil sketches made outdoors across Europe during that time includes several recently discovered works and explores issues such as attribution, chronology, and technique.
Jules Coignet, View of Bozen with a Painter, 1837, oil on paper, mounted on canvas. Gift of Mrs. John Jay Ide in memory of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Donner
Jules Coignet, View of Bozen with a Painter, 1837
oil on paper, mounted on canvas
Gift of Mrs. John Jay Ide in memory of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Donner
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalog with essays by leading experts in the field and will present new information about this key aspect of European art history.
The exhibition is curated by Mary Morton, curator and head of the department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Ger Luijten, director, Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris; and Jane Munro, keeper of paintings, drawings and prints, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Exhibition Highlights
True to Nature begins as European artists would have in the late 18th and early 19th century—in Rome. The study of ancient sculpture and architecture, as well as of Renaissance and baroque art, was already a key part of an artist's education, but Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes's influential treatise on landscape painting, published in 1800, went further to recommended that young artists develop their skills by painting oil sketches out of doors. Valenciennes advised exploring the Roman countryside, as he had in Study of Clouds over the Roman Campagna (c. 1782/1785). This section includes examples by a range of European artists who followed his advice, such as Michel Dumas, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, and Johan Thomas Lundbye. Also included is The Island and Bridge of San Bartolomeo, Rome (1825/1828) by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Corot was a key figure in 19th-century landscape painting, bringing the practice of open-air painting back to France and inspiring a younger generation of impressionist painters.
Other sections focus on both natural and man-made features that proved challenging to painters, such as waterfalls, trees, skies, coastlines, and rooftops. Examples include rare studies by well-known artists such as 
John Constable's Sky Study with a Shaft of Sunlight(c. 1822, Fitzwilliam Museum), 

Jean Honoré Fragonard's Mountain Landscape at Sunset (c. 1765), and 
Odilon Redon's Village on the Coast of Brittany (1840–1916, Fondation Custodia) as well as sketches by lesser-known painters like Louise-Joséphine Sarazin del Belmont, one of the few known women artists active during this period. 
True to Nature illustrates how pervasive plein-air painting became across Europe with examples by many Belgian, Danish, Dutch, German, Swiss, and Swedish artists who studied in Italy before returning home to paint their native surroundings. Sketches by Carl Blechen include an example from his time in Italy, View of the Colosseum in Rome (1829, Fondation Custodia), as well as a study made at home in Germany, View of the Baltic Coast (1798-1840), Fondation Custodia).

Exhibition Catalog
Published by the Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, a comprehensive catalog with essays by leading experts in the field will present new information about this key aspect of European art history. Authors include the curatorial team and Michael Clarke, former director of the Scottish National Gallery and deputy director of the National Galleries of Scotland; Anna Ottani Cavina, director of the Fondazione Federico Zeri, Bologna, and professor of art history of the department of visual arts, University of Bologna; and Ann Hoenigswald, former senior conservator of paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington. With some 140 color illustrations and 250 pages

Monday, February 24, 2020


13 FEBRUARY 2020 – 24 MAY 2020

Goddess, she-devil, doll, fetish, nymphet, or wonderful dream crea­ture—women were the central subject matter of Surre­alist male fantasies. It was often only in the role of companion or model that female artists could succeed in pene­trating the circle surrounding André Breton, the founder of the group of Surre­al­ists. However, on closer exam­i­na­tion it becomes evident that the partic­i­pa­tion of women artists in the move­ment was consid­er­ably larger than is gener­ally known or reported.

The SCHIRN is now presenting the female contri­bu­tion to Surre­alism for the first time in a major thematic exhi­bi­tion. Female artists differed from their male colleagues above all in their reversal of perspec­tive: They often embarked on a search for a (new) model of female iden­tity by exploring their own reflec­tion or by adopting different roles. Contem­po­rary polit­ical events, liter­a­ture, and non-Euro­pean myths and reli­gions are further subjects that the Surre­alist women examine in their works.  

The exhi­bi­tion focuses on women artists who were directly asso­ci­ated with the Surre­alist move­ment founded in Paris in the early 1920s, though some­times only for a short period. Featuring about 260 remark­able paint­ings, works on paper, sculp­tures, photographs, and films by 34 artists, the exhi­bi­tion covers a wide range of styles and subjects. Besides well-known figures like Louise Bour­geois, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppen­heim, and Dorothea Tanning, numerous as yet lesser-known artists from more than three decades of Surre­alist art, such as Toyen, Alice Rahon, and Kay Sage, also await discovery. The exhi­bi­tion features repre­sen­ta­tive selec­tions of works by each of the artists, while at the same time reflecting networks and friend­ships among the women artists in Europe, the US, and Mexico.

An exhi­bi­tion of SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANK­FURT, in coope­ra­tion with Loui­siana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.

Leonora Carrington, Autoportrait, à l'auberge du Cheval d'Aube, 1937/38, oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Bridget Tichenor, The Surrealists/The Specialists, 1956, Oil on Mazonite, 40 x 30,2 cm, Private Collection Mexico, © Bridget Tichenor

Toyen, Le Paravent, 1966, Oil and collage on canvas, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris / The Roger-Viollet Photoagency © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Dorothea Tanning, Voltage, 1942, Oil on canvas, Collection Ulla und Heiner Pietzsch, Berlin, © The Estate of Dorothea Tanning/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, Photo: Jochen Littkemann, Berlin

Kay Sage, At the Appointed Time, 1942, Oil on canvas, Newark Museum of Art, Bequest of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1964 © Estate of Kay Sage/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Dora Maar, 29 Rue d'Astorg, 1936, Photomontage, silver salt print, Musée national Picasso-Paris, Dation Pablo Picasso 1979, MP3623, © bpk / RMN - Grand Palais / Dora Maar / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Jacqueline Lamba, André Breton, Yves Tanguy, Cadavre exquis, 1938, collage on paper, Private Collection, Courtesy of the Mayor Gallery, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Frida Kahlo, Selfportrait with thorn necklace, 1940, Oil on canvas mounted to board, Collection of Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Nickolas Muray Collection of Modern Mexican Art © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Leonor Fini, Chtonian Deity Watching over the Sleep of a Young Man, 1946, Oil on Canvas, 27,9 x 41,3 cm, © Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco and Francis Naumann Gallery, New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Ithell Colquhoun, Tree Anatomy, 1942, oil on board, 57 x 29 cm, The Estate of the late Dr. Jeffrey Sherwin and the Sherwin Family, © Samaritans, Noise Abatement Society & Spire Healthcare

Rediscovering the Art of Victoria Hutson Huntley

Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia 
March 28 to June 21

Victoria Hutson Huntley (American, 1900 – 1971), “The Stairway,” 1931. Lithograph, 11 1/2 x 9 inches. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of Stephen Goldfarb. GMOA 2016.21.
Victoria Hutson Huntley (American, 1900 – 1971), “Steel,” 1951. Lithograph, 10 7/8 x 15 5/8 inches. Private collection.
(A well-known lithographer in the 1930s and 1940s, Victoria Hutson Huntley made works that were popular with museums and collectors. Her lithographs highlighted subjects including landscapes, human figures and the natural world. In the middle of her career, she spent several years in Florida, and she often featured the Everglades and its flora and fauna in her work. She was a meticulous creator, first painting an image, then making a drawing, a redrawing, a redesign to reduce the drawing in scale and finally a lithograph. Her work fell out of fashion in the 1950s, with the rise of abstract expressionism, which sidelined realistic approaches to art. 

This spring, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present the exhibition “Rediscovering the Art of Victoria Hutson Huntley”from March 28 to June 21.

As a testament to her skill, the second lithograph Huntley ever made, “Interior” (1930), received the first place prize in the International Graphic Art Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. But this recognition was only the start of Huntley’s career as an artist. Over the course of her life, she produced more than 100 lithographs as well as intaglio prints, earning awards, grants and national recognition for her works. Lithography is a particularly demanding art form, given the strength required to move the heavy stones on which the artist draws, but Huntley loved it. Interestingly, she visited UGA in 1952 to speak on lithography and work with visiting artist Francis Chapin, but little is known about her brief time in Athens.

Huntley’s earlier works, made from 1930 to 1946, reflect her life in New York City (where she grew up), rural areas in Caldwell, New Jersey, and two small towns in Connecticut that served as an influence on her subject matter. She made these prints during the years in which realism and the American Scene movement were emphasizing a naturalistic style of art. In 1946, she moved near Orlando, Florida, with her husband and received a Guggenheim grant to create works depicting the Everglades. Her health suffered, however, and they returned to the North in 1953. The exhibition, which will include about 30 lithographs and two paintings, tracks these different phases of her career and her development as an artist. 
She was particularly fond of birds, and many images show egrets, roseate spoonbills and the like.


Victoria Hutson Huntley (American, 1900 – 1971), “Florida Deer Resting,” 1949. Lithograph, 9 3/4 x 13 3/8 inches. Private collection.

Guest curators Lynn Barstis Williams Katz and Stephen J. Goldfarb, both noted print collectors and experts, not only assembled the exhibition but produced an issue of the museum’s Bulletin devoted to Huntley. Katz wrote a heavily illustrated essay on Huntley, and Goldfarb discovered her previously unpublished autobiographical essays in her papers at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. He compiled several drafts of this life story into a single narrative and footnoted it to provide explanations for readers.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

To See as Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection

Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy
OCTOBER 5, 2010–JANUARY 16, 2011
Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, Spain
National Art Center Tokyo, Japan
FEBRUARY 2–MAY 6, 2012
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee
OCTOBER 6, 2012–JANUARY 6, 2013
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas 
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida

The first international exhibition organized by The Phillips Collection to feature an overview of the museum's renowned American collection, To See as Artists See showcases more than 100 works by 75 artists, including outstanding paintings by Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Arthur Dove, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Maurice Prendergast, John Sloan, and many others. Since its opening in 1921, the Phillips has been an active champion of American art, singling out artists who followed their own vision independent of fashionable styles and schools. Its collection of American masterworks celebrates the very best of American art from the late 19th through the 20th centuries.

From Homer to Hopper: American Art from The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Vero Beach Museum of Art
February 1-May 31, 2020

Homer To-the-Rescue.

Arthur G. Dove, Red Sun, 1935, oil on canvas, 20 1/4 x 28 in.; 51.435 x 71.12 cm. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1935
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) Miss Amelia Van Buren, c. 1891, Oil on canvas 45 x 32 inches, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1927
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), Ranchos Church, No. II, NM, 1929, Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1930

Edward Hopper: Sunday, 1926, Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

From Homer to Hopper: American Art from The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC presents some of the most important American paintings and sculptures from The Phillips Collection, the first museum of modern art in the United States. The exhibition explores the history of American art from the late 19th century through the 1960s, as the country was establishing its artistic identity and setting the course for modern art. The stunning selection of works encompasses the exacting realism of Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, the impressionist paintings of Childe Hassam and John Henry Twachtman, the evocative images of Edward Hopper and Charles Sheeler, and then continues with the bold modernist abstractions of Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

The show will culminate with the inventive works of the post-war decades, when artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, and Philip Guston made the United States the center of the art world. Themes include the stunning American landscape, cityscapes and depictions of urban life, portraiture, still life, and techniques such as action painting and stain painting. The exhibition will also celebrate Duncan Phillips, who through dedication and vision assembled the outstanding collection that serves as the cornerstone of The Phillips Collection.

This exhibition has been organized by The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Friday, February 21, 2020

Jean-François Millet Leads Prints & Drawings at Swann March 5

Latin American works on paper from Matta, Rivera, Tamayo & more


New York—19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on Thursday, March 5 at Swann Galleries is set to bring forth a remarkable set of works on paper from the Modern period including important examples from Gustave Baumann, Jean-François Millet, Diego Rivera and more.

Works from the nineteenth century lead the sale with Jean-François Millet’s circa 1871­–72 charcoal-on-canvas study for the artist’s oil painting La Famille du Payson, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. 

James A. M. Whistler is available with the etchings The Garden, 1880, and Balcony, Amsterdam, 1889, expected to bring $30,000 to $50,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively. 

Edgar Degas’s rare etching and aquatint Loges d’Actrices, circa 1879–80, is set to come across the block in the fifth state, one of approximately eight impressions in this state, at $15,000 to $20,000. 

Also by Degas is La Danse Espagnole, a bronze circa–1885 sculpture based on the wax model the artist executed in the same year. The sculpture carries an estimate of $5,000 to $8,000. 

Further works of note include an artist’s proof of Mary Cassatt’s drypoint Gathering Fruit, circa 1893, and the etching In the Opera Box (No. 3), circa 1880, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000, and $20,000 to $30,000, respectively. 

An exceptional offering of Latin American art features Diego Rivera’s a 1923 pencil study for Un Maestro Protegido por Soldados Revolucionarios, an image in the artist’s mural at the Secretería de Educación Pública in Mexico City ($7,000-10,000). 

The revolutionary in the study can be seen in the background of 

the 1932 lithograph Escuela al Aire Libre, also featured in the sale ($12,000-18,000). 

From Francisco Toledo’s transatlantic period comes Formes Surréalistes, a circa 1965 watercolor ($15,000-20,000). Roberto Matta’s 1958 two-part bronze sculpture with black patina Crucifixión is available ($15,000-20,000) along with a run of color aquatints by Rufino Tamayo: Cabexa Sobre Fondo RosaPersonaje de Perfil, and Cabeza sobre fondo verde ($3,000-5,000 apiece). 

Works by Gustave Baumann, Stuart Davis, Martin Lewis, Louis Lozowick and Grant Wood stand out among Modern American printmakers, with Lewis’s 1931 drypoint Rainy Day, Queens leading the group at $15,000 to $20,000. 

Baumann’s 1917 color woodcut Provincetown, and 

Davis’s 1931 lithograph Two Figures and El are offered at $10,000 to $15,000 each; 

Lozowick’s Through Brooklyn Bridge Cables, lithograph, 1938, 

and Wood’s Approaching Storm, lithograph, 1940, are set to bring $5,000 to $8,000 apiece.

Modern European masters include a scintillating run of examples by Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte, among others. Notable works include Der Spaziergang I, 1922, an early etching by Chagall ($10,000-15,000); Miró’s 1967 color etching Le Rebelle ($25,000-35,000); Nature Morte à la Pastèque, a 1962 color linoleum cut by Picasso ($40,000-60,000); and Magritte’s Paysage de Baucis (Self Portrait with a Hat), etching, 1962 ($15,000-20,000). 

A selection of stalwart German Expressionists features Edvard Munch with Den Sinnssyke, lithograph, 1908–09, with only six other impressions found at auction in the past 30 years ($10,000-15,000); Max Pechstein is on offer with Yali und sein Weisses Weib, 1923, a complete set of eight etchings ($5,000-8,000); and Wassily Kandinsky’s Erste Katnadel fur die Editions Cahiers d’Art, drypoint, 1930 ($7,000-10,000). Lyonel Feininger, Erich Heckel, Paul Klee and Käthe Kollwitz round out the assortment.

Further highlights include Henry Moore’s Two Figures, an abstract 1935 watercolor with charcoal and color pastels ($15,000-20,000); Jean Dubuffet’s L’enfle-chique II, a 1963 color lithograph ($15,000-20,000); and Françoise Gilot with Composition, gouache and watercolor ($5,000-8,000).

Exhibition opening in New York City February 29. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App. 
Additional highlights can be found here.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Picasso and Paper

Royal Academy of Arts, London 
25 January – 13 April 2020 

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 
24 May – 23 August 2020 

Pablo Picasso, Women at Their Toilette, Paris, winter 1937–38. Collage of cut-out wallpapers with gouache on paper pasted on canvas, 299 x 448 cm. Musée national Picasso-Paris. Pablo Picasso gift in lieu, 1979. MP176. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Adrien Didierjean © Succession Picasso/DACS 2019. 

The Royal Academy of Arts is presenting Picasso and Paper, the most comprehensive exhibition devoted to Picasso’s imaginative and original uses of paper ever to be held. Bringing together over 300 works and encompassing Picasso’s entire prolific 80-year career, this ground-breaking exhibition will focus on the myriad ways in which the artist worked both on and with paper, and will offer new insights into his creative spirit and working methods. 

Picasso and Paper review
Pablo Picasso, 'Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe' after Manet I (1962) Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Marine Beck-Coppola © Succession Picasso/DACS 201

One of the most important artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) worked across a range of mediums including painting, sculpture, ceramics and graphic arts. He also invented a universe of art involving paper. His prolonged engagement with the medium grew from the artist’s deep appreciation of the physical world and his desire to manipulate diverse materials. He drew incessantly, using many different media, including watercolour, pastel and gouache, on a broad range of papers. He assembled collages of cut-and-pasted papers; created sculptures from pieces of torn and burnt paper; produced both documentary photographs and manipulated photographs on paper; and spent decades investigating an array of printmaking techniques on paper supports. 

The exhibition will be organised within a broad chronological framework exploring all stages of Picasso’s career working with paper. 

Highlights will include Women at Their Toilette, winter 1937-38 (Musée national Picasso-Paris)(above) an extraordinary collage of cut and pasted papers measuring 4.5 metres in length, which will be exhibited in the UK for the first time in over 50 years; outstanding Cubist papiers-collés such as Violin, 1912 (Musée national Picasso-Paris); and studies for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 including Bust of Woman or Sailor (Study for 'Les Demoiselles d’Avignon'), 1907 (Musée national Picasso-Paris). Picasso’s drawings, including Self-portrait, 1918 (Musée national Picasso-Paris) and Seated Woman (Dora), 1938 (Fondation Beyeler), will be fully presented throughout the show. 

These will feature alongside key examples of the variety of printing techniques that he explored – etching, drypoint, engraving, aquatint, lithograph and linocut – such as 'Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe' after Manet I, 26 January – 13 March 1962 (Musée national Picasso-Paris). 

Throughout the exhibition, a sequence of unfolding themes will contextualise the paper works, which will be displayed alongside a select number of closely related paintings and sculptures. For example, Picasso’s great masterpiece of the Blue Period, La Vie, 1903 (Cleveland Museum of Art), will be displayed with preparatory drawings and other works on paper exploring corresponding themes of poverty, despair and social alienation. Picasso’s Cubist bronze Head of a Woman (Fernande), 1909 (Musée national Picasso-Paris) will be exhibited together with closely associated drawings. The monumental sculpture of the war years, Man with a Sheep, 1943 (Musée national Picasso-Paris), will be displayed together with a group of large ink and wash drawings that amplify the sculpture’s emotional resonance. 

A focused section within the exhibition will examine the materials and techniques used by Picasso over the course of his career. This will include an early woodcut printed by hand using a salad bowl as the block, the collaborative photograms he made with Dora Maar and later with André Villers, as well as experimental graphic works and illustrated books. 

A display ranging from newspaper and envelopes to antique laid papers with distinctive watermarks will demonstrate the different papers Picasso used, while the astonishing array of ephemera he kept - personal letters and cards decorated with drawings - will also be represented. 

The film Le Mystère Picasso of 1955, a remarkable documentary recording Picasso drawing with felt-tip pens on blank newsprint, will be shown alongside original drawings made for the production. The closing section focuses on Picasso’s last decade which saw the final flourishing of his work, particularly as a printmaker. Drawings and prints will be shown together with a series of copper plates, as well as Picasso’s printing press from the period. 

The majority of the loans in the exhibition have been generously lent by the Musée national PicassoParis. Organisation Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Cleveland Museum of Art in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris. 

Exhibition curated by Ann Dumas, Royal Academy of Arts, William Robinson, Cleveland Museum of Art and Emilia Philippot, Musée national Picasso-Paris. 

Accompanying Publication 


Hardcover, 9.25 x 11.25 in. / 328 pgs / 400 color.
Pub Date 
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 14   
ISBN 9781912520176 TRADE
List Price: $60.00 CDN $85.00

Awaiting stock

A new publication with texts by Violette Andres, Stephen Coppel, Ann Dumas, Emmanuelle Hincelin, Christopher Lloyd, Emilia Philippot, Johan Popelard, Claustre Rafart Planas and William Robinson, will accompany the exhibition.

Good review, more images

By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque

Norton Simon Museum 
October 4, 2019 - March 2, 2020 
The Norton Simon Museum presents By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque, an exhibition that surveys the rich range of artistic responses to life in the French capital during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time, later dubbed the belle époque, or “beautiful era,” Paris was at the forefront of urban development and cultural innovation. Its citizens witnessed the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the ascendancy of the Montmartre district as an epicenter for art and entertainment and the brightening of their metropolis under the glow of electric light. For artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas and Pablo Picasso, however, it was often the less triumphant details of modern life that inspired creative expression. The paintings, drawings, prints and photographs in this exhibition demonstrate that these artists participated in the inventive spirit of the age by interpreting the everyday as something extraordinary.

The graphic arts—and color lithography in particular—enjoyed something of a renaissance in the belle époque, and many painters turned to printmaking as a newly compelling medium, one that invited bold aesthetic experimentation while broadening the potential market for avant-garde art.

Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947)
At the Theatre from the portfolio Some Aspects of Life in Paris, 1899
16 x 21 in. (40.6 x 53.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947)
L’Arc de Triomphe from the portfolio Some Aspects of Life in Paris, 1899
16 x 21 in. (40.6 x 53.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)
The Seated Clowness from the portfolio Elles, 1896
20-1/2 x 15-3/4 in. (52.1 x 40.0 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Crossett

Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940)
The Pastry Shop from the portfolio Landscapes and Interiors, 1899
16 x 13 in. (40.6 x 33.0 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

By Day & by Night features three of the most groundbreaking suites of lithographs produced in this period: Pierre Bonnard’s Some Aspects of Life in Paris (1899), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Elles (1896) and Édouard Vuillard’s Landscapes and Interiors (1899).

Some Aspects of Life in Paris summons viewers on a stroll through the city (which, not coincidentally, is how Bonnard derived inspiration for the series). Images of bustling streets, famous monuments and a crowded theater position the spectator as a participant in the action by using abrupt compositional cropping and oblique points of view to situate our visual perspective within the scene. In House in the Courtyard, the artist has aligned the margins of his composition with the frame of a window, obliging us to enact the process of peering past the open shutters to glimpse a neighbor across the way. Alongside this dynamic portfolio of prints are photographs by Eugène Atget, who famously captured overlooked oddities in Paris, such as the eccentric wares of a traveling lampshade peddler or a cluster of strangers viewing a solar eclipse.

Toulouse-Lautrec is best known for colorful interpretations of performers and personalities associated with the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre. But in addition to his humorous and exaggerated style of draftsmanship, the artist also perfected a thoughtful and sensitive approach to depicting female subjects, regardless of their station in life. In his lithographic suite Elles, a series of images depicting kept women, we are invited into the intimate spaces of bedrooms and boudoirs—yet rather than emphasizing titillating details, Toulouse-Lautrec focuses on the banality and even boredom of the subjects’ daily routines. On the other side of the spectrum, the artist’s dynamic pastel At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse (1887–88) dramatizes the sensation of movement by representing a bareback circus performer as she whips by on her mount. This interest in depicting life in Paris as it unfolds was likely inspired by Edgar Degas, whose work Toulouse-Lautrec greatly admired. Degas also depicted the city’s many female performers, and By Day & by Night features several works that show women on and offstage, such as the impressively-scaled oil painting Actress in Her Dressing Room (c. 1875-1880 and c. 1895-1905) and the diminutive pastel Café-Concert Singer (c. 1877). Other artists, in contrast, turned their attention to those who patronized the concert halls of Paris. A twenty-year-old Pablo Picasso, newly arrived in the city, drew a scene of intriguing spectators in his Moulin Rouge (1901), while the Italian expatriate Giovanni Boldini captured an elegant man about town in his pastel Portrait of a Dandy (1880–90).

At the same time, not all of the era’s artists were drawn to busy street scenes or the dazzling world of theater. In a departure from these more publicly oriented works, the exhibition also includes Vuillard’s vividly patterned series Landscapes and Interiors, which demonstrates the artist’s fascination with personal subjectivity and ways to render it pictorially through texture, color and the articulation of space. One of a group of artists known as the “Nabis,” the Hebrew word for prophet or seer, Vuillard was drawn to quiet moments—friends playing chess or family members at home. Even his outdoor subjects convey calm and serenity rather than the frenzied bustle of Bonnard’s parks and boulevards. Joining this portfolio of prints are two small paintings by Vuillard, The Dressmakers under the Lamp (c. 1891–92) and Lucie Hessel (c. 1905), both depicting women who were important to the artist, as well as subdued and even somber works by fellow Nabis Ker-Xavier Roussel and Maurice Denis.

In addition to making drawings, paintings and limited-edition print portfolios, artists like Bonnard and Toulouse-Lautrec used lithography to make large-scale, dynamically designed posters, which were plastered throughout Paris to advertise products from champagne and lamp oil to literary journals and famous nightclub entertainers. By Day & by Night includes six iconic posters, generously lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to demonstrate the pervasiveness of visual art in a city increasingly associated with printed images.

The belle époque is often imagined as a golden age of spectacle and joie de vivre. Yet as the works of art in this exhibition demonstrate, the experience of daily life was often the impetus for bold artistic expression, as evident in the spellbinding array of scenes and personalities in By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque.
By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque is organized by Emily Talbot, Acting Chief Curator at the Norton Simon Museum. 

Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940)
The Pastry Shop from the portfolio Landscapes and Interiors, 1899
16 x 13 in. (40.6 x 33.0 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947)
At the Theatre from the portfolio Some Aspects of Life in Paris, 1899
16 x 21 in. (40.6 x 53.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947)
L’Arc de Triomphe from the portfolio Some Aspects of Life in Paris, 1899
16 x 21 in. (40.6 x 53.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (French, 1841–1927)
The Seine at Charenton, 1874
Oil on canvas
21-1/4 x 25-3/8 in. (53.3 x 63.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
The Moulin Rouge, 1901
China ink on paper
12-3/4 x 19-1/2 in. (32.4 x 49.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)
At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse, 1887–1888
Pastel and drained oil on board
23-5/8 x 31-1/4 in. (60 x 79.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)
The Seated Clowness from the portfolio Elles, 1896
20-1/2 x 15-3/4 in. (52.1 x 40.0 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Crossett

Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)
Women Ironing, begun c. 1875–1876; reworked c. 1882–1886
Oil on canvas
32-1/4 x 29-3/4 in. (81.9 x 75.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Jean-Louis Forain (French, 1852–1931)
At the Evening Party: Woman in White with a Fan, 1883–1884
Pastel on paper
21-3/4 x 18 in. (55.2 x 45.7cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon