Melbourne Winter Masterpieces
The Impressionists

Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay
Édouard Manet
French 1832-83
The balcony (Le Balcon) 1868-69
oil on canvas
170.0 x 124.5 cm
Collection Musée d'Orsay, Paris
RF 2772
© Photo RMN -- Hervé Lewandowski

The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay displays more than 90 masterworks from iconic artists including Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. These most important works illustrate a century of phenomenal change - a period that helped shape our modern world.

Works by Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Gustave Courbet and Frédéric Bazille document the climate of dynamic change from which Impressionism emerged in the 1860s and 1870s. At the heart of the exhibition is a dazzling array of Impressionist landscape paintings by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro, as well as entrancing portraits and figure studies by Berthe Morisot and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Magnificent paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec provide a vibrant contrast to the more gentle lyricism of these classic Impressionist artists.

The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay
also examines the liberating impact of Impressionism upon the younger generation of artists who came to prominence in Paris in the 1880s and 1890s - embracing Symbolism's demands for the revival of dreams and the imagination in art; continuing the legacy of Paul Gauguin's fascination with the wild romanticism of Brittany, and other isolated regions of rural France; or focusing with extraordinary intensity upon the 'theatre' of daily domestic life.

The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay
is part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, which will bring blockbuster exhibitions to Melbourne each winter over the next three years.


17 Jun 200426 Sep 2004 NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road