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Impressionnists in Buenos-Aires

The most emblematic museums in the world, like the Musée d'Orsay, the Metropolitan or the Hermitage, certainly do not have a monopoly on the golden nuggets left to us by our impressionist friends... many others places conceal treasures, some of which feed my conference topics. So today, I invite you to pay a short visit to the Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos-Aires, which contains in room 14 magnificent paintings by Edouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet or Berthe Morisot...

Berthe Morisot - Julie Manet et sa chienne Laerte. 1893. Musée Marmottan Monet. Paris
Claude Monet - La berge de la Seine - 1880. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires

The bank of the Seine presents the landscape of one of the branches of the river, at the southern end of Lavacourt, a locality facing Vétheuil, where Claude Monet lived from October 1878 to November 1881. His first wife, Camille Doncieux, died there in September 1879 after giving birth to their second son, Michel.

The Monets lived in a modest house with a garden, which they shared with the Hoschedé family, whose husband Ernest, now bankrupt, had been one of the painter's first amateurs. Ernest's wife, Alice, was to leave her husband with her six children a little later and settle with Claude Monet, first in Poissy, then in Giverny.

In this difficult period of his life, Claude Monet devoted himself to painting the banks of the river at different times of the year and from different points of view, such as the bank of the Seine or View of Vétheuil in the summer of 1880. The painter used a workshop boat for painting outdoors.

Water was one of his favorite subjects for the study of transparencies, reflections and movement.

Berthe Morisot. Eugène Manet et Julie dans le jardin de Bougival. 1891. Musée Marmottan Monet. Paris
Edouard Manet. Ernest Hoschedé et sa fille Marthe. Vers 1876. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires

And since we are talking about Ernest Hoschedé, here he is represented by Edouard Manet, in the company of one of his daughters, Marthe, then 12 years old. The latter was to marry in 1900 the American painter Théodore Butler, widower of her sister Suzanne.

This painting is emblematic of a quick touch, going to the essentials of the characters and in no way trying to describe them with precision. What counts for Manet is to bring out the appearance of an Ernest Hoschedé who was still rich before going partly bankrupt for debts in 1877. His daughter Marthe presents an enigmatic face, from which all relief is absent, and which seems fix the outside of the canvas as if to be surprised at the intrusion of a visitor...

Ernest Rouart, Julie Manet, Paul Valery, Jeannie Gobillard
Alfred Sisley. Effet de neige à. Louveciennes. Vers 1876. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires

Alfred Sisley painted a large number of snowy landscapes, playing on the pink, blue and yellow reflections he gave to the snow. He stayed in Louveciennes until the end of the winter of 1874-1875, before settling in Marly-le-Roi in a house near the Abreuvoir, where he remained until the end of the winter of 1877. -1878. In this almost monochrome painting, the opaque gray sky is crossed by the dark line of trees in the background. Sisley captures a group of houses with smoking chimneys, which seem to nestle overhanging the road where an isolated walker appears.


The National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires was inaugurated in December 1896 in the Bon Marché store building on Florida Street, now Galerías Pacífico. From the outset, it was conceived as a space intended to house international art from all historical periods, and to promote and consolidate a then nascent Argentine art.


Av. del Libertador 1473

Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

+54 (011) 5288-9900


Dans ses conférences d'histoire de l'art, Fabrice Roy conjugue le passé au présent, dans une évocation poétique et ludique du 19ème siècle français...



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