Monet and the Birth of Impressionism
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The nineteenth century was a time of upheavals. A wide variety of developments took place at the same time ‒ developments that also left their mark on the paintings of the Impressionists. Increasing industrialization brought about a change in the relationship between man and nature, work and leisure. Technical progress led to a general acceleration of life. The visual experience of the big city and the spread of new media such as photography had a decisive impact on the works of the artists of the period.

The main protagonist and continual point of reference is Claude Monet. Among the artists of his time, Monet played a pioneering role in the growing popularity of open-air painting. In his œuvre, the formal innovations of Impressionism ‒ the clearly recognizable brushstroke and the rapid, sketchy painting style ‒ are particularly prominent. Another phenomenon that applies to the art of the Impressionists in general: they increasingly abandoned large-scale figural compositions in favour of smaller landscape scenes.

Frankfurt’s Städel Museum is presenting a major exhibition on “Monet and the Birth of Impressionism” from 11 March to 21 June 2015. Images courtesy: Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
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Claude Monet (1840-1926), Saint-Lazare Station, Arrival of the Normandy Train, 1877, oil on canvas, 60,3 x 80,2 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago © Mr. And Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago
Claude Monet (1840–1926) Rouen Cathedral: The Portal, Morning Effect, 1893-1894 Oil on canvas, 110 x 73 cm Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Sammlung Beyeler Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel
Edouard Manet (1832–1883), The Universal Exhibition of Paris 1867, 1867, Oil on canvas, 108 x 196,5 cm The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo Photo: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo
Claude Monet (1840–1926), Exterior of Saint-Lazare Station (The Signal), 1877, Oil on canvas, 65.5 x 82 cm. Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover Photo: Landesmuseum Hannover – ARTOTHEK
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Hôtel des Roches Noires, Trouville, 1870, oil on canvas, 81 x 58 cm. Musée d`Orsay, Paris. Photo: bpk : RMN - Grand Palais : Hervé Lewandowski © Musée d`Orsay, Paris, donation de Jacques Laroche, 1947
Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Luncheon: Decorative Panel, 1873, oil on canvas, 160 x 201 cm. Musée d`Orsay, Paris. Photo: bpk : RMN - Grand Palais : Patrice Schmidt © Musée d`Orsay, legs de Gustave Caillebotte, 1894
Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Boulevard des Capucines, 1873-1874, oil on canvas, 80,3 x 60,3 cm. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Jamison Miller © The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Woman with a Parasol in a Garden, 1875 oil on canvas, 54,5 x 65 cm. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid © Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Alfred Sisley (1839–1899), The Seine at Bougival in winter, 1872, Oil on canvas, 46 x 65 cm Palais des Beaux Art de Lille Photo: bpk : RMN - Grand Palais : René-Gabriel Ojéda
Camille Pissarro (1831–1903), The Rue de Gisors, Pontoise, Winter Effect, 1872 Oil on canvas, 26,8 x 40, 5 cm Privatsammlung, Courtesy David Nisinson
Camille Pissarro (1831–1903), The Quai du Pothuis, Pontoise, 1868 Oil on canvas, 52 x 81 cm Kunsthalle Mannheim Photo: Cem Yücetas
Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Chailly Road through the Forest of Fontainebleau, 1865, oil on canvas, 97 x 130,5 cm. Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen. Photo: Pernille Klemp © Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Summer (Meadow at Bezons), 1874, oil on canvas, 57 x 80 cm. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie Photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Jörg P. Anders
Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Luncheon, 1868, oil on canvas, 231,5 x 151 cm. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK © Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Jar of Peaches, c. 1866, oil on canvas, 55,5 x 46 cm. Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden © Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Berthe Morisot (1841–1895), Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight, 1875 oil on canvas, 36 x 46 cm Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris Photo: Bridgeman Images
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Orchestra Musicians, 1872, Oil on canvas, 69 x 49 cm. Photo: Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK
Anonym (?), Montmartre, 1870, Albumen Print, 20,8 x 27,4 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago © Julian Levy Collection, Gift of Jean Levy and the Estate of Julien Levy, The Art Institute of Chicago
Amédée Charles Henri de Noé (1819-1879), Madame! Cela ne serait pas prudent. Retirez vous!, 1877. Published in: Le Charivari, 16. April 1877. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK © Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Amédée Charles Henri de Noé (1819-1879), M. Manet liu-même, pris d ́une crise de nerfs la vue de la peinture indépendante, 1879. Published in: Le Charivari, 27. April 1879. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK © Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Jules Andrieu (1838–1884), Ruins of the Paris Cummune, 1871. The Hôtel de Ville after Fire, 4th arrondissement, Paris, 1871 Albuminprint, 28,6 x 37,6 cm Paris, Musée Carnavalet Photo: Jules Andrieu / Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
Antoine Chintreuil (1814-1873), Landscape with Sunlight and Rainclouds, 1870, oil on canvas, 96 x 133,5 cm. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum - ARTOTHEK. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main / Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Exhibition view "Monet and the Birth of Impressionism" at Städel Museum Photo: Städel Museum
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