Collection 1880s–1940s

501

French Landscapes and Interiors

New on view

Ongoing

MoMA

Paul Cézanne. Pines and Rocks (Fontainebleau?). c. 1897. Oil on canvas, 32 × 25 3/4" (81.3 × 65.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lillie P. Bliss Collection
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 501 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

The late 19th century in France was an era of rapid change: the emergence of mass media, new and faster forms of transportation, urban expansion of cities like Paris, and developments in industry. Vision itself was likewise transformed, whether by new kinds of illumination—such as electric light—or by the increasingly widespread availability of photographic and moving images. Seeing the world differently, artists working in France reacted to these changes; how one saw was as crucial as what was seen.

Using tools both old and new, from the paintbrush to the camera, artists like Paul Signac and Eugene Atget took up the challenge of representing this new era by looking closely and carefully at changes in the landscape, society, and visual experience. Others focused on the domestic or looked inward, representing the unconscious, dreams, and fantasy. Vincent van Gogh, for example, used thick paint to render scenes “as if seen in a dream, in character and yet at the same time stranger than the reality.”

Organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Rachel Remick, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

44 works online

Artists

Installation images

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