Until the 31 December, the new gallery on the fifth floor is presenting a temporary display of works from one of the most important artistic movements of the 19th century, Naturalism..
In the wake of Jean-François Millet and Jules Breton, a generation of painters came to the fore at the end of the 1870s, presenting a new image of rural life and urban workers. Naturalist painting, closely linked to the novels of Émile Zola and the Goncourt brothers, aimed to offer a new interpretation of a world undergoing major technological and social change, to capture its transitory reality. Employing an illusionist technique, sometimes aided by photography, it put forward protagonists that were representative of a social group.The Naturalist aesthetic at that time was in tune with the aims of the Republican regime that had became firmly established around 1880, to the point where it became the official style of the Third Republic, demonstrated by the State’s numerous acquisitions, now in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay. This did not prevent Naturalism from including those at the margins of society, or from gradually renewing
all the genres, for example the representation of religious sentiments. Moreover, the poetry that pervades these scenes of daily life conceals a wide range of political views.
Three sculptures from the same movement join this display of Naturalist paintings: Paul Dubois' Memory, Alsace-LorraineAimé Jules Dalou's Large Peasant and Alphonse Amédée Cordonnier's On the Street . Moreover there will be four outstanding works, just returned from long-term loan and never before exhibited at the Musée d'Orsay: Jean le Boiteux by Jean-François Raffaëlli, In the Forest by Pascal Dagan-Bouveret, The Catechism Lesson by Jules-Alexis Muenier and The Day of the Hospital Visit by Henri Geoffroy.In addition, Emile Friant's large-scale painting Toussaint, is now installed on the fifth floor of the Amont Pavilion.