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.
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
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