The Triumph of Colour. From Van Gogh to Matisse, the collections of the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie
The exhibition The Triumph of Colour. From Van Gogh to Matisse, the collections of the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie demonstrates how colour broke free from perceptible reality at the end of the 19th century with the application of scientific theories on complementary colours and the optical mix. Linked to Seurat and Signac, Van Gogh adopted the pure Chromatism and Divisionism of the Neo-Impressionist painters during his stay in Paris in 1886-1887. He also admired Gauguin's experimentation, which used colour with a Symbolist and intellectual meaning. The flat planes of colour, like in Japanese prints, give a poetic and decorative character to the compositions produced by the Nabis, who followed Gauguin's example. This chromatic revolution reached a crucial milestone at the turn of the 20th century with the Fauves who used colour as an autonomous expressive language.