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The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, introduction by Gary Tinterow
1987
158 pages
138 illustrations
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In 1874 a group of artists whose work had been rejected the previous year by the official French Salon organized their own exhibition in the studio of the photographer Nadar. The group included Pissarro, Renoir, Cézanne, and Monet, whose painting, Impression: Sunrise, led a prominent and hostile critic to deride the whole group as "impressionists," a name that stuck. Scorned by the French art establishment and for main years by the public as well, these artists continued to paint works that are now universally loved and acknowledged as perhaps the first true expressions of the modern spirit.

The Impressionists did indeed depart dramatically from traditional, academic painting techniques and from the romantic or rhetorical subject matter then in vogue. Instead of subjects taken from remote times and places, they chose to paint the artifacts and everyday activities of modern life. In their work, nature ceased to be depicted as ideal and eternal; rather, they showed the instantaneous impression of land, sky, or water in a particular climate and at a particular time of day. Painstaking modeling and traditional perspective were abandoned in favor of short, staccato brushstrokes of color intended to represent the way particles of light reach the retina. This radical break from centuries-old traditions eventually led to new and different modes of painting both within the Impressionists' circle and in the works of succeeding generations throughout Europe and the United States.

Modern Europe presents a selection from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art of the best examples of Impressionism and its heritage, from the classically influenced but radically new works of Manet and Degas to the high Impressionism of Monet and Pissarro; from the work of Cézanne, who attempted to return to painting the weight and solidity abandoned by his colleagues, to the emotive distortions of Van Gogh's portraits and landscapes; from the exoticism of Gauguin, Redon, and Rousseau to the Expressionist visions of Soutine, Munch, Grosz, and Beckmann. Cubism—in which conventional representation began to disappear—is seen in masterpieces by Picasso, Braque, and Villon, and the emerging abstraction of the early twentieth century in works by Kandinsky and Kupka.

In addition to reproducing the work of these influential artists. Modern Europe shows the continuing dialogue between the fine and applied arts, presenting an unusually broad picture of the artists and craftsmen of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in some one hundred and forty works of art in every genre and medium.

Met Art in Publication

The Spanish Singer, Edouard Manet  French, Oil on canvas
1860
Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada, Edouard Manet  French, Oil on canvas
1862
Young Lady in 1866, Edouard Manet  French, Oil on canvas
1866
A Man on Crutches, Edouard Manet  French, Brush and lithographic ink on transfer paper
1878
Olympia (published plate), Edouard Manet  French, Etching; second state of six
1867
Boating, Edouard Manet  French, Oil on canvas
1874
A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers (Madame Paul Valpinçon?), Edgar Degas  French, Oil on canvas
1865
Dancers Practicing at the Barre, Edgar Degas  French, Mixed media on canvas
1877
The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, Edgar Degas  French, Partially tinted bronze, cotton tarlatan, silk satin, and wood, French, Paris
1922 (cast), 2018 (tutu)
At the Milliner's, Edgar Degas  French, Pastel on pale gray wove paper (industrial wrapping paper), laid down on silk bolting
1882
Sulking, Edgar Degas  French, Oil on canvas
ca. 1870
Paul Poujaud, Mme. Arthur Fontaine, and Degas, Edgar Degas  French, Gelatin silver print
1895
Garden at Sainte-Adresse, Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1867
Regatta at Sainte-Adresse, Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1867
The Parc Monceau, Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1878
Bouquet of Sunflowers, Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1881
Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight), Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1894
The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog), Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1903–4
The Four Trees, Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1891
Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, Claude Monet  French, Oil on canvas
1899
Showing 20 of 132

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Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), and Gary Tinterow, eds. 1987. Modern Europe. New York: The Museum.