Some of the most precious paintings in the world are being exhibited in Paris in a special tribute to the French Impressionists of the 1900's.
Some of the most precious paintings in the world are being exhibited in Paris in a special tribute to the French Impressionists of the 1900's. The "Century of Impressionism" is being staged at the Grand Palais Gallery and brings together more than 40 works of art.
The month-long exhibition, which opens on Saturday (21 September) commemorates the first showing of the Impressionists a century ago. Although examples of Impressionist painting existed as early as 1838, it was not until 1874 that a well-defined Impressionist style was presented to the public by some 30 young artists. Their work created quite a stir, but despite the lack of understanding on the part of the public and the art world, those who saw it became conscious of a new orientation of art.
The term "Impressionist" was coined by art critics who borrowed it from a painting by Claude Monet executed in Le Havre, which he had called "Impression." They derisively applied the term to the style of his contemporaries.
The 1870's were tough times for most of the Impressionists with their homeland at war with Prussia. A few escaped to England, among them Monet and Pissaro. In England they discovered the paintings of Turner and Whistler, and the influence of these English artists can be seen in their later work.