Musée d'Orsay: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond : Post-impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond : Post-impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay

Paul Cézanne
 Baigneurs [Bathers]
 Circa 1890
 Oil on canvas
 H. 60; W. 82 cm
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay, gift of Baroness Eva Gebhard-Gourgaud, 1965
Paul CézanneBathers© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
It is almost a century since the exhibition Manet and the Post-impressionists, which was organised in London in 1910 by the painter and art critic Roger Fry, made a forthright comparison between Impressionism and the aesthetic "revolution" led principally by Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat and Van Gogh.
Impressionism was then shown as stale, lacking in subject matter and not truly modern when compared with what Fry called "Post-Impressionism", an imaginative and conceptual painting movement.

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond challenges this view which still persists today. In fact, the experimental approaches of Monet, Degas and Renoir coincided with the emergence of the younger generations. These young artists watched closely for any new initiative from their elders. It is also important to underline Seurat's connections with teachers at the Académie de Beaux-Arts, Van Gogh's love for Bastien-Lepage, and the romantic heritage that Gauguin exploited until his abortive retreat to Tahiti. Lastly, the emphasis is on how Symbolism came to be a movement in its own right, and on the encounter between Avant-Garde and the rebirth of grand decoration around 1900 with the works of Bonnard and Vuillard. All in all it spans an entire era, that until now has been too narrowly defined, and revisits it with a fresh eye.


Paris : Guy Cogeval, President of the Musée d'Orsay, Stéphane Guégan and Sylvie Patry, curators, Musée d'Orsay
Canberra : Christine Dixon, curator at the National Gallery of Australia
Tokyo : Mitsue Nagaya, curator at the National Art Centre
San Francisco : John E. Buchanan, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Exhibition presented in :
Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, 4 December 2009 - 18 April 2010
Tokyo, National Art Center, 26 May - 16 August 2010
San Francisco, Fine Arts Museums 25 September 2010 - 18 January 2011


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