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Frontiers of Impressionism at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum – theartwolf

Claude Monet - Waterlilies - 1908 - Worcester Art Museum

From January 26 to April 7, 2024, the exhibition “Frontiers of Impressionism” keeps its international tour at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

Source: Worcester Art Museum · Image: Claude Monet, “Waterlilies”, 1908, oil on canvas, Worcester Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 1910.26

“Frontiers of Impressionism” chronicles the emergence of Impressionism in 19th-century France, its subsequent expansion to much of Europe and the United States, and the lasting changes the movement has brought to the art world. Framed through the lens of the Museum’s collection, the exhibition will highlight over 30 artists, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, and Max Slevogt. The exhibition opened at the Worcester Art Museum from April 1 through June 25, 2023, then moved to the Tampa Museum of Art (September 8, 2023–January 7, 2024), before coming to Tokyo.

Frontiers of Impressionism demonstrates just how revolutionary these artworks were when they were created,” said Matthias Waschek, the Jean and Myles McDonough Director of the Worcester Art Museum. “The Worcester Art Museum has been collecting Impressionist paintings since the Museum opened 125 years ago, and many were acquired when these artists were still living.

The exhibition examines Impressionism as a new approach and a revolutionary challenge to the “rules” of art. In the early 19th century, American and European artists began to break away from the genres championed by Europe’s art academies—including history painting and portraiture—and in doing so created a rupture in the hierarchy of artistic genres. Landscape in particular emerged as a genre of experimentation and exploration, a vehicle for communicating ideas like nationalism. The exhibition also focuses on Paris as the epicenter of Impressionism, highlighting many of the artists who founded or closely identified with the movement, including Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley, as well as artists who came to Paris to work within this circle, like Mary Cassatt. Visitors will see firsthand the qualities that defined Impressionist painting: a dedication to capturing on canvas what the eye perceives, an inclination to painting en plein air (outdoors), and an adherence to a painterly technique characterized by lighter, looser brushwork.

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