DAYTON, Ohio – For the first and only time in Dayton, visitors are offered the rare opportunity to experience nearly 60 works of such beloved artists as Monet, Manet, Degas, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Corot, Gauguin and others. The Dayton Art Institute’s exhibition The Triumph of French Painting: Masterpieces from Ingres to Matisse opens April 7.
Drawn from the collections of the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art due to renovations at both museums, this exhibition provides a comprehensive survey of painting in France during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
It examines the artistic trends that contributed to France’s domination of the world art scene during this period.
The exhibition spans more than 100 years and includes such great masterpieces as Claude Monet’s Charing Cross Bridge (Reflections on the Thames) (1901-1904), oil on canvas; Edouard Manet’s The Cafe Concert (1878-1879), oil on canvas; Edgar Degas’ Before the Race (1882-1884), oil on panel; Vincent Van Gogh’s A Pair of Boots (1887), oil on canvas; Paul Cezanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibemus Quarry (1897), oil on canvas; Henri Matisse’s Odalisque with Green Sash (1927) oil on canvas; Pablo Picasso’s Woman with Bangs (1902), oil on canvas; and Paul Gauguin’s Vahine no te vi (Woman of the Mango) (1892), oil on canvas.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see great masterpieces side by side, in one exhibition,” said Alex Nyerges, director and CEO of the Art Institute.
The exhibit opens in the early 19th century with the Neoclassical period, represented with the coolly observed works of Marguerite Gerard and David’s student, Jean-Dominique Ingres.
From here, Delacroix’s exuberant and colorful history subjects define Romanticism’s painterly style and expressive qualities of color, as seen in Christ on the Sea of Galilee, 1854, one of three pictures by Delacroix.
During the 19th century, landscape painting assumed an unprecedented significance in French art. A number of painters, most notably Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Jean-Francois Millet, Constant Troyon and Charles-Franqois Daubigny – all represented in the exhibition – worked in the Fontainebleau Forest south of Paris and came to be associated with the village of Barbizon.
Painting en plein air avant le motif or “out-of-doors in front of the subject” was a mantra to these artists and provided the context in which Impressionism flourished.
The Barbizon School’s fidelity to nature and concern for the working class is seen in paintings by Corot and Millet.
This era is represented by Impressionism’s chief exponent, Monet, in three paintings, Waterloo Bridge, Charing Cross Bridge and Windmills Near Zaandam.
When painting the first two, Monet was intrigued by London’s dense fog and preceded to use this aspect in several of his works.
Works by Manet, Degas, Pissaro, Alfred Sisley and Auguste Renoir examine Impressionism’s affinity for color and light.
Following Post-Impressionism, the exhibition looks at Modernism, with the abstracted form and expressive color found in works by Pierre Bonnard, Picasso and Henri Matisse.
Picasso initially used mostly somber blue tones, as shown in Woman with Bangs, but during the next two years, his palette changed to pink and flesh tones.
The exhibit will be on view in the Art Institute’s Special Exhibition Galleries from April 7 through June 3. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors 60 and over, students (7-18), and groups of 10 or more; free for children 6 and under and museum members.
During the exhibition, museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Tickets are timed and dated and may be purchased at the museum’s General Motors Entrance Rotunda ticketing desk, online at www.tickets.com and by phone at 937-223-4ART.
After opening in Dayton, the exhibition will travel to the Royal Academy of Arts (London) June 30 and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, N.Y.) in November.
Public gallery talks will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday; 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tours are free with exhibition admission.
Docent-led group tours must be scheduled in advance through the education department at 937-223-5277, ext. 337.
See the The Triumph of French Painting: A Look at the Masters! May 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Examine several French master painters in terms of their place in art history as well as their impact on modem art movements. A French lunch will be served, and a tour of The Triumph of French Painting and a chance to create your own artwork in one of the French traditions is included.
Cost is $30 for museum members, $35 for nonmembers (includes lunch, admission to The Triumph of French Painting and all materials).
View A Taste of France: Sampling French Culture May 27, 1-4 p.m.
Enjoy a tour of The Triumph of French Painting in addition to hands-on art-making opportunities.
Cost is $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers (includes admission to The Triumph of French Painting).
For more information call 937-223-5277.