Last weekend the exhibition ‘Impressionism: Sensation & Inspiration’ opened at the Hermitage Amsterdam. The exhibition shows world-famous Impressionist paintings from the vast collection of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
Masterpieces by pioneers like Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Camille Pissarro are accompanied by the work of other influential French painters from the second half of the nineteenth century, such as Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Léon Gérôme. The exhibition focuses on contrasts between artistic movements. Visitors can see and experience the sensational quality of Impressionism, the movement that heralded a new age.
The exhibition deliberately places the Impressionists in the company of their predecessors, contemporaries, and successors, including both kindred spirits and competing movements. Favourites like Monet's Woman in the Garden and Renoir's Portrait of the Actress Jeanne Samary are side by side with the work of Delacroix, Daubigny and Gérôme, as well as magnificent paintings by Paul Cézanne (The Smoker, c. 1890–1892) and Paul Gauguin (Woman with Fruit, 1893), who were inspired by Impressionism to develop wholly original, personal styles. The Hermitage Amsterdam offers a clear and fascinating overview of the many currents and controversies in the turbulent French art scene between 1850 and 1900.
All the paintings, drawings, and sculptures come from the collection of the St. Petersburg Hermitage. Seldom has such a rich survey of this period been on display in the Netherlands.
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