February 15-July 8, 2007
The Worchester Art Museum in Worchester, Massachusetts, organized this wonderful traveling exhibition from its own outstanding collections. It includes works by some of the most significant French and American painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, George Inness, Willard LeRoy Metcalf, and others. The exhibit makes it possible to compare and trace the influences of Barbizon, Tonalist, and Impressionist paintings in France and America. Filled with rich and vibrant colors, they capture changing impressions of sunlight and shadow in scenes reflecting the beauties of nature and charms of everyday life. Because landscape paintings like these have been so universally accepted for more than a century, it is easy to forget how revolutionary and controversial they were in their own time. These artists turned away from academic historical and portrait painting toward a more spontaneous and vibrant realism in depicting the world around them, setting a new direction for art in the years ahead.