The Barberini Museum in Potsdam presents a permanent exhibition of the extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by the museum's founder, Hasso Plattner. Among these are masterpieces by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, Alfred Sisley and Paul Signac. No place in Europe, outside of Paris, presents more works by Claude Monet, who sees 34 of his paintings exhibited in Potsdam. This makes the Barberini Museum one of the most important international centers for Impressionist landscape painting.
Let's discover some of these masterpieces....
Among the most famous works in the collection are The Pont d'Argenteuil and the Seine by Gustave Caillebotte (circa 1883)
From 1865, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley embarked on a pictorial excursion along the Seine which ended in the estuary of Le Havre. Many artists in this collection continue to be associated with towns on the Seine such as Argenteuil or Giverny, including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Caillebotte and Claude Monet.
As city dwellers, the Impressionists perceived the agrarian tradition of France in a very different way. While Camille Pissarro describes rurality with what could be described as a class proximity, Claude Monet portrays himself and his family as a visitor.
Under changing conditions of light and weather, the Impressionists captured atmospheric phenomena much as 19th-century scientists did. They created protocols of direct experience: each brushstroke corresponded to information, as shows this painting by Alfred Sisley. Like Monet or Caillebotte, he endured the freezing cold in order to represent the optical phenomena of refraction of light on snow crystals.
The Impressionists observed life on the boulevards, in cafés and parks, as did Gustave Caillebotte. Massive construction work had transformed the capital since the 1850s. In the service of Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann had transformed the city into a modern metropolis with monumental avenues. Uniform facades and rows of trees, gaslights, advertising columns, cafes and shops lined the streets.
The presentation of the collection at the Barberini Museum covers the period from the 1860s to the beginning of the 20th century and brings together works from three generations of artists who often worked together, traveled to the same places to work and inspired each other. Composed of eight central chapters, the exhibition allows visitors to trace the evolution of French landscape painting through the styles of Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism and Fauvism.
Ortrud Westheider, director of the Barberini Museum, emphasizes the importance of the new permanent exhibition: "No other collection can present Impressionist landscape painting so comprehensively and coherently through its iconography."
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In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...