Impressionist Art seems to be everywhere. Opening today at Tate Britain is an exhibition of French Artists in Exile (1870 – 1904). With the theme Impressionists in London, the exhibition containing over 100 paintings and sculptures highlights what life was like for French refugee artists. Among them were Monet, Tissot and Pissarro who left France during the Franco-Prussian War. It also portrays how these artists felt about London with scenes of the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament, parks, street life, and the London fog.
The Impressionists rejected established styles and traditional subject matter, preferring to depict fleeting, light-dappled impressions of the senses. Being a fan of their work, I expected the exhibition to be one of the highlights of the year. Sadly, for me, it wasn’t. While I loved some of the paintings, a lot of the works particularly the sculptures, didn’t come up to expectation.
The opening room has paintings showing the devastation from which the artists fled, followed by spaces dedicated to different artists, and the people they associated with. At its centre, a room is dedicated to Alphonse Legros who as Professor of Fine Art at the Slade School made an impact on British art education helping to revolutionise the way in which modelling was taught. Legros was supportive of other artists, and particularly the sculptor Aime-Jules Dalou.
One room is dedicated to a series of Monet’s paintings of the River Thames showing the Houses of Parliament covered in the mist of the London fog, but also basking in the evening sun. I personally preferred the painting on the same subject by Giuseppe de Nittis. The last part of the show is dedicated to Andre Derain , highlighting his homage to Monet.
A series of events runs at various times throughout the exhibition. Themed meals include a three course lunch from an Impressionist inspired menu is available in their Rex Whistler Restaurant until 7 May, 2018. £55.00 includes access to the exhibition.
The exhibition runs until 7 May, 2018.
Tate Britain, Linbury Galleries, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG.
Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 Friday 1 December until 22.00.
Entry £19.70 (includes a donation). Concessions and family tickets available.
Tel. 0207 887 8888 http://www.tate.org.uk