Impressionists by the Sea
7 July—30 September 2007
In The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House
Sponsored by Farrow & Ball
Eugène-Louis Boudin, The Beach at Trouville - The Empress Eugenie, 1863. Oil on wood, 34.3 x 57.8 cm.
This exhibition explores the origins and development of the fashionable contemporary beach scene from the early 1860s to the early 1870s, in the work of Eugène Boudin, Manet and Monet. It looks at beach scenes of the 1880s, in which the Impressionists, notably Monet, turned their backs on the depictions of people and used their new approach to painting to capture the effects of weather and light on the coastline.
During the nineteenth century, the northern coast of France was transformed from the preserve of local sea-faring populations to the adopted province of fashionable holidaymakers. During the summer months the coast saw its beaches, fishing villages and modest ports transformed into ‘the summer boulevard of Paris’. From the 1820s onwards, the coast had provided an important subject for artists seeking to capture on canvas social and economic change. Painters initially portrayed the coast in Romantic terms, focusing on the evocation of the sublime forces of nature and the depiction of picturesque scenes of local fishermen. By the 1860s, however, stylish holidaymakers began to appear in paintings, as many of local resorts, such as Deauville and Trouville, became fashionable.
This exhibition has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
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