Impressionism: The Art of Landscape

January 28 to May 28, 2017

Precise observations of nature not only gained in importance in the natural sciences during the nineteenth century—the impressionists also reacted to this trend by painting outdoors and recording ever-changing light and weather phenomena. Their landscape motifs were no longer charged with historical or symbolic significance. Rather, impressionist artists focused on capturing the present.

This exhibition presents various themes in Impressionist landscape painting, which made it the first distinctly modern movement in painting. They emancipated themselves from earlier generations in their depictions of the sea and forest tracks. In garden paintings, they began to use color freely. Winter landscapes became a place to experiment with the color white. In landscapes of the south they wove together light and air to create shimmering visual effects. In river landscapes they explored reflective surfaces. To this day, the very act of seeing continues to make viewers an integral part of their works.

Exhibition view "Impressionism. The Art of Landscape" with Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Museum Barberini, Photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

Exhibition view "Impressionism. The Art of Landscape" with Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Museum Barberini, Photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

Precise observations of nature not only gained in importance in the natural sciences during the nineteenth century—the impressionists also reacted to this trend by painting outdoors and recording ever-changing light and weather phenomena. Their landscape motifs were no longer charged with historical or symbolic significance. Rather, impressionist artists focused on capturing the present.

This exhibition presents various themes in Impressionist landscape painting, which made it the first distinctly modern movement in painting. They emancipated themselves from earlier generations in their depictions of the sea and forest tracks. In garden paintings, they began to use color freely. Winter landscapes became a place to experiment with the color white. In landscapes of the south they wove together light and air to create shimmering visual effects. In river landscapes they explored reflective surfaces. To this day, the very act of seeing continues to make viewers an integral part of their works.

Exhibition view "Impressionism. The Art of Landscape" with Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Museum Barberini, Photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

Exhibition view "Impressionism. The Art of Landscape" with Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Museum Barberini, Photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

Impressionist Landscapes: Yesterday and Today
Claude Monet: Low Tide at Les Petites-Dalles, 1884, private collection
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Photo: Christoph Irrgang
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The Cliffs at Les Petites-Dalles, Normandy
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We searched for the places that served as motifs for the impressionist works you can see in our exhibition. We travelled to these places and took photographs of what they look like today. Although the artists’ styles are different, their paintings accurately reflect their surroundings. Here you can see what the places looked like then and how they look now by comparing the paintings and the photographs. Discover both what has changed and what has remained the same in the landscapes.

Research › Impressionism: The Art of Landscape
What Kind of Sky is This?
Meteorological Associations Regarding Impressionism: The Art of Landscape

The Impressionists were masters at depicting various times of day and seasons of the year: shimmering light, jangling cold, approaching storms, the glow of dawn. Meteorologist Franz Ossing shows how accurately we can read the weather in Monet and his fellow artists’ paintings. In his essay, he examines the weather in works of art by comparing them to photos of cumulus clouds and even purple umbrae on the horizon.

This essay is based on the talk that Franz Ossing held at the Museum Barberini on April 6, 2017.

You can read the article online at GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ.

Read more

Alfred Sisley: Winter Morning, 1874, private collection

Alfred Sisley: Winter Morning, 1874, private collection

Meteorological Associations Regarding Impressionism: The Art of Landscape

The Impressionists were masters at depicting various times of day and seasons of the year: shimmering light, jangling cold, approaching storms, the glow of dawn. Meteorologist Franz Ossing shows how accurately we can read the weather in Monet and his fellow artists’ paintings. In his essay, he examines the weather in works of art by comparing them to photos of cumulus clouds and even purple umbrae on the horizon.

This essay is based on the talk that Franz Ossing held at the Museum Barberini on April 6, 2017.

You can read the article online at GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ.

Alfred Sisley: Winter Morning, 1874, private collection

Alfred Sisley: Winter Morning, 1874, private collection

Read more

Interview with Ortrud Westheider
Interview with Christoph Heinrich
Interview with Stephen F. Eisenman
Interview with Richard Shiff
Interview with Nancy Ireson
Interview with Stefan Koldehoff
Catalogue
On the occasion of the Exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape

The catalogue for the exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape is published by Prestel Verlag and edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp with essays by Stephen F. Eisenman, Christoph Heinrich, Nancy Ireson, Stefan Koldehoff, Richard Shiff, and Ortrud Westheider. They demonstrate that impressionism is no longer about narrating a story but about the act of seeing. Freed of historical and symbolic references, landscapes therefore became the central genre in impressionism.

24 x 30 cm, approx. 248 pages, approx. 170 ills.

Price at the museum shop: € 29.90 (sold out)

Booktrade edition: € 39.95

On the occasion of the Exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape

The catalogue for the exhibition Impressionism: The Art of Landscape is published by Prestel Verlag and edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp with essays by Stephen F. Eisenman, Christoph Heinrich, Nancy Ireson, Stefan Koldehoff, Richard Shiff, and Ortrud Westheider. They demonstrate that impressionism is no longer about narrating a story but about the act of seeing. Freed of historical and symbolic references, landscapes therefore became the central genre in impressionism.

24 x 30 cm, approx. 248 pages, approx. 170 ills.

Price at the museum shop: € 29.90 (sold out)

Booktrade edition: € 39.95