Monet and French Landscape: Traveling with the artists in France

Sep.22 (Sat), 2007 – Mar.23 (Sun), 2008
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the painters of Impressionism turned to landscape in their quest to express light and color. This search for beautiful vistas and soft, bright light led them first to the forests and riversides outside of Paris, and then farther, to regions throughout France. On their canvases, they captured Normandy skies and seaside shifting under drifting clouds, the rugged undulations of Brittany’s coastline, and the exquisite light that envelope the mountainous realms of central France. Many painters in the first part of the twentieth century chose the idyllic villages of Provence and the Côte d'Azur, and their sparkling sun, deep-blue seas, and lush forests. Through palettes liberated by Southern light, these artists brought forth individual visions of vivid color. Still other painters looked inward and turned their dream worlds into painting. Against the backdrop of these unreal landscapes, the trajectories of their ideas burned brightly.

Featuring works of French landscape painting from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from the Pola Collection—displayed in accordance with region from North to South—this exhibition took viewers on the journeys of Monet and his fellow Impressionists, of the landscape artists of twentieth century, and finally of the painters of imaginary worlds. Along the way, the works gave viewers an understanding of the painters’ connections to the various places they celebrated via their art.