Art Gallery of Alberta

A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France
October 15-February 20, 2012


image credits [click to view]


Jean Cazin, Rest Before Nightfall, 1883
Oil on canvas

Pierre August Renoir, View From Cap Martin of Monte Carlo, c. 1884
Oil on canvas



This exhibition of masterworks from the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, will trace the development of the landscape in French painting, from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The exhibition will include examples from key movements, including Realism, Naturalism, the Barbizon School, Impressionism, Symbolism and Fauvism.

In many respects, this was a golden age of landscape art, in which the principles of spontaneous brushwork and working en plein air (in the open air), gave landscape painting a power and directness it had never before possessed. Artists such as Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, Johan Jongkind, Claude Monet and Théodore Rousseau pioneered this direct approach to their subject matter. All are represented in this exhibition, and are among the most important in the history of landscape art. Alongside these are artists who sought to develop the symbolic, emotional, subjective and even expressionistic aspects of landscape depiction, including Henri Fantin Latour, Adolphe Monticelli and Maurice de Vlaminck.

In the exhibition, apart from masters who are still globally renowned for their contribution to landscape art, are a number of others who – while acknowledged and celebrated in their own time and immediately afterwards – are less well known now. The exhibition hopes to put new light on these artists, who have undeservedly received less attention in recent decades. These include Jean Charles Cazin, Charles Francois Daubigny, Leon Augustin l’Hermitte and Jehan Georges Vibert. While the exhibition is about French art, several Dutch artists who related closely to their French colleagues, such as Jongkind and Mauve, have been included.

Organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.