‘History of Impressionism' at Santa Caterina Museum

The great artists from Monet to Renoir, Van Gogh to Gauguin

From 29 October 2016 to 01 May 2017

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From October 29th, 2016 to May 1st, 2017 Linea d’Ombra invites you to one of the most fascinating exhibitions dedicated to Impressionist painters ever organized in Italy... An evocative journey, rich in comparisons, emotions and insights. The new exhibit in Treviso in Italy in 2016-2017 offers a unique chance to see some of the masterpieces that marked one of the crucial periods of Art History gathered in one venue!

140 outstanding works, almost exclusively paintings, but also photographs and engravings, reconstruct the ‘History of Impressionism'. The renovated exhibition spaces of the Museum of Santa Caterina in Treviso will host the Impressionist art exhibition, bringing together masterpieces from major museums and private collections from around the world, a clear sign of Marco Goldin’s high profile, whose exhibitions are internationally renowned.

The exhibition is a reminder of the research carried out by Linea d'Ombra in the first two decades of activity... With the impressionist exhibition in Treviso in 2016 - ‘History of Impressionism', Marco Goldin aims at 'summarising' the prominent themes of his extended personal research. Six sections describe the prominent years of Impressionism from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century: starting from the tendencies and the artists that influenced the emergence of Impressionism, the exhibition in Treviso puts the visitor in direct contact with the pictorial movement up to its crisis in 1980s, and the subsequent developments that will prove to be decisive for the twentieth century movements.

The Impressionist exhibition by Goldin at the Museum of Santa Caterina in Treviso is placed next to some academic paintings, necessary to understand one of the fundamental aspects of the exhibition: the language drafted by young Impressionists, and before them by the school of Barbizon, firstly developed in parallel and concurrent to the experiences of the Salon of Paris. Do not forget that the Impressionists, while rejecting its conservative spirit, aspired to take part in this Salon, this being the only exhibition that would have given them notoriety and visibility...

The exhibition on Impressionism in Treviso, Italy doesn’t only offer a comparison between the Salon painters with the Impressionists... Photograps, the most recent artistic means of depicting reality, capturing above all landscapes and environments that were dear to the Impressionists, and the coloured woodcuts by Hokusai and Hiroshige contribute to provide visitors with a full picture, realized by Goldin after many years of studies and research on French painting in the nineteenth century.

'History of Impressionism', amongst the exhibitions in Treviso, Italy in 2016 at the Museum of Santa Caterina, is ready to host an unparalleled exhibition... Works of art that marked one of the biggest and most fascinating artistic revolutions in history are the key to discover a little-known beauty and understand in which context the latter originated and developed, later laying the foundations for the new artistic movements of the 21st century.

  1. The Gaze and Silence, exploring portrait painting from Ingres and Delacroix to Degas and Gauguin

    Ingres’s early works open the Impressionism exhibition in Treviso. References to classical antiquity, particularly to Raphael, pervade the French painter’s artistic production, which is based on eternal beauty and which, above all, searches for the beauty in reality.

    His early portraits divide a purely celebratory portrait painting from a depiction of greater psychological depth: his inclination to a kind of silent realism - discernible in the images of childhood friends or in the painting of a boy with an earring, both evocative of his youth spent in the southwest of France - will later influence painters such as Courbet, Manet, Degas and Renoir in their human visage paintings.

    Unlike Delacroix, who was held on a pedestal by many impressionists, especially by Van Gogh, the young Ingres put celebratory purposes aside in favour of the depiction of an almost poetic reality with strong psychological impact.

    Van Gogh and Gauguin’s appearances in the artistic scene proved to be a milestone in the further development of portrait painting, already encompassing the twentieth century. Putting verisimilitude aside, painters began to focus on their emotions, following the inclination of their inner sensibility and often giving faces a symbolic meaning.

    The placement of a Degas canvas beside a painting by Puvis de Chavannes explains to what extent Impressionist artwork differed from that of academic painters of the same period, who were still tied to celebratory portraits.

  2. Figures 'En Plein Air', from Millet to Renoir

    In 1852 Courbet exhibited 'Young ladies of the village' at the Salon des Refusés, a painting included in this section of the exhibition Storie dell’Impressionismo in Treviso, creating a real scandal. The depiction of a scene of everyday life, in which the human figure is inserted in a real-life context, has nothing to do with the historical landscape greatly valued by academic painters, a 'landscape' which essentially does not reflect reality at all. The naturalism of Barbizon painters - Troyon, Millet, Corot – is shared by the Salon painters, starting with its maximum exponent, Bouguereau, but also by early impressionists, such as Boudin.

    Considering works pertaining to genre painting, cherished by the academics, it is evident that the gap between apparent realism, which gives no sign of emotions, and the sense of mercy that arises from placing figures in their daily lives, is even wider.

    The exhibition offers eloquent comparisons on this subject, contrasting Luminais with the nearly contemporary Millet, from Bouguereau to Boudin. Perhaps most of all, the latter has the merit of having paved the way for the appreciation of works by Pissarro, Renoir, Monet.

    The years of Monet at Argenteuil mark the most crucial decade in Impressionism - from the 80s onwards a different state of being begins to transpire, apparently preparing to flow into the twentieth century.

  3. Things In Pose – from Manet to Cézanne

    In addition to landscapes, portraits and en-plein air figures, even still life art has its role in the birth of subsequent languages... Albeit peripherally, almost all the Impressionists dedicated themselves to this genre. Only two still life painters stand out - Fantin-Latour and Paul Cézanne.

    Whereas the former dedicates himself exclusively to this work of art, in line with the 16th Dutch tradition, the latter managed to maintain a perfect balance between landscape, figures and still life, thereby reaching the highest level of the nineteenth century.

    Unlike seventeenth-century still nature, which ostentatiously depicted reality, Cézanne goes beyond any attempt of moralistic, allegorical or symbolic representation: everything is an attempt to research and study the arrangement of objects in space. His later still life artwork differs entirely from Impressionism, thus opening the doors to the twentieth century.

    In the century before the outburst of Impressionism, Chardin’s artwork was exemplary of French still life painting. Manet, who originally took example from the Spanish painters Zurbarán and Velázquez, later draws inspiration from him - alongside some of Monet’s still life paintings, belonging to his first years of activity. Both artists, especially after Van Gogh, are influenced by the Japanese culture that spread in the West thanks to the works of Hiroshige and Hokusai.

  4. A new desire for nature, - From Corot to Van Gogh

    This section of the Impressionist exhibition in 2016 in Treviso traces the main stages of the transition to a new attitude towards nature, which goes hand in hand with the depiction of figures in everyday life scenes.

    The Barbizon painters, Corot above all, were the first to follow this path. One of these painters is Gustave Courbet, who associated feelings to a deliberate dramatic crudeness.

    At this stage of our ‘History of Impressionism' the role of Japanese art becomes the next focal point - particularly the artistic production of Hokusai and Hiroshige – which reached the West after the commercial frontiers in Japan re-opened in the mid-nineteenth century.

    The strong similarities between Hokusai’s Wave and Courbet’s Wave, as well as between Hiroshige and Vincent van Gogh’s flowers, are the most eloquent examples of this influence. The wave theme is also endorsed by photography, with Gustave Le Gray’s shots contributing to the development of the new perception of space in painting, materialised by Claude Monet.

    The exhibition on Impressionism in Treviso then embraces en plein air, firstly with Boudin, continuing with Monet, Sisley, Pissarro and Cézanne, up to Seurat and Van Gogh.

  5. Impressionism in danger - Monet and the plein-air crisis

    From 1880s the crisis of one of the cornerstones of Impressionism becomes evident: plein air, that is, completing paintings exclusively during open air sessions.

    If in the previous decade immediacy and the instantly perceived impression were at the basis of the representation of reality, now the paintings are not anymore completed in contact with reality, but elaborated in ateliers at a later stage. The decisive end of plein-air channels artists towards working on a series of images, a methodology that will be predominant throughout the last decade of the century.

    Monet is the first artist to record this momentous change: a sight cannot end in a single image, but must be captured and processed in different seasons and light conditions. The sheaves series, the Normandy countryside painting, poplars and cathedrals, involve a much more careful analysis of the subject, hence reducing the time available to move around and see new places... Monet wants to pry into the soul of places before portraying them – this explains why he begins to spend weeks in pure contemplation before starting his creation. The result is a series of almost abstract paintings, which depict reality filtered through the artist’s emotions. The most exemplary works of this evolution are certainly those completed in 1897, during the second painting phase in Normandy.

  6. How a world changes – the extreme years of Monet and Cézanne

    Monet and Cézanne end the Impressionist exhibition in Italy in 2016. These two artists pushed artistic boundaries further than any other painters, transforming their style into something completely different compared to its roots… The former laid the foundations for the development of the rich American abstract art period in the mid-twentieth century - from Pollock to Rothko - while the latter is at the basis of cubism.

    Both shift the traditional perspective: in Monet, series after series, the degree of abstraction increases, the space gradually loses significance in favour of a sense of eternity that loses touch with reality; Cézanne, however, reaches an unstable equilibrium, extended on horizontal planes that rise and appear to reach out to the viewer.

    For both painters their last creative phase, which corresponds to a return to youth and to the places of the past, is characterized by powerful emotions and poignancy... Trees are at the end: ‘History of Impressionism' ends with two trees, one painted by Cézanne Provence and one in Monet's garden in Giverny. The space dimension is absent, the trees correspond to the artist's personal vision; a feeling more than a perception of reality.

    At the end of the exhibition the viewer will have perceived the transformation by himself: painting is completely different to that encountered at the beginning of our journey, crossing one of the most exciting adventures of art history!

Next to 'Stories of Impressionism', Linea d’Ombra also organizes side shows, all accessible with one ticket:

  • ‘Titian Rubens Rembrandt - The female image between the 16th and the 17th century’
    Museum of Santa Caterina, October 29th 2016 - May 1st 2017

    Three illustrious paintings borrowed from the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh are at the centre of a small dossier exhibition that traces the definition of the female image before Impressionism through three artists who influenced the Impressionists - 'Venus rising from the sea' by Titian; 'The Feast of Herod' by Rubens and 'A woman in bed' by Rembrandt.

  • ‘From Guttuso to Vedova to Schifano -The common thread of Italian painting during the second half of the 20th century’
    Museum of Santa Caterina, October 29th 2016 - May 1st 2017

    An exhibition on another theme Mauro Goldin has always been passionate about - the Italian painting during the second half of the 21st century. Roughly fifty authors, from Afro and Guttuso up to Novelli and Schifano, will help visitors get in touch with the vast Italian artistic production of the period.

  • 'De Pictura - Twelve painters in Italy'
    Palazzo Giacomelli, October 29th 2016 - May 1st 2017

    Twenty years after the historic exhibition 'Painting as painting' in Conegliano, Goldin reselects the 12 artists on show - Claudio Olivieri, Claudio Verna, Mario Raciti, Pier Luigi Lavagnino, Attilio Forgioli, Ruggero Savinio, Franco Sarnari, Piero Guccione, Piero Vignozzi Gianfranco Ferroni, Piero Ruggeri and Alberto Gianquinto - each with four works on exhibition, to offer an in-depth thematic analysis of the exhibition 'From Guttuso to Vedova to Schifano'.

Organized to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Linea d'Ombra’s activity, the exhibitions in 2016 place Treviso at the centre of the international cultural attention! Book your hotel in Treviso and take advantage of the exhibtion to spend a few days to discover the beautiful area of Treviso.


Exhibition times at the Museum of Santa Caterina

  • Monday to Thursday: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
  • Friday to Sunday: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm

Special openings

  • October 28th: 8.00 pm to 1.00 am
  • October 29th: 9.00 am to 1.00 am
  • October 30th and 31st: 9.00 am to 10.00 pm
  • November 1st, from December 8th to 10th, December 26th to 30th, January 2nd to 7th: 9.00 am to 8.00 pm
  • 25th December: 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm
  • 31st December: 9.00 am to 2.00 am
  • 1st January: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm

Tickets for the ‘History of Impressionism' show

  • Full €14.00
  • Reduced €11.00 (students and university students up to age 26 provided with ID, over 65 years, journalists provided with card)
  • Reduced €8.00 underage (6-17 years)

The exhibition 'De Pictura - Twelve painters in Italy' will be open from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 19.00. Free entry.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff