Roughly speaking, the story goes as follows: Impressionism emerged in France in around 1870, under the influence of the newly developed medium of photography, as a reaction against the art of the Salon and the Academie. There, artists painted prescribed subjects, producing balance compositions and accurately depicting reality. The term Impressionism was coined by a critic who exclaimed that the work of the young painters was not art, merely an impression. Since then, the Impressionists have been known as a group of artists who had a sudden urge to work out of doors, to capture the light and the fleeting moment. They did not want to imitate reality, but to interpret it, thus making Impressionism the first modern art movement. The art dealers of the time were quick to cash in on it. This idea has had to be placed in perspective over the past thirty years. There has been a reappraisal of the art of the Salon, and further research has shown that the Impressionists did not manage to escape all the conventions of the time. If we look at their landscapes, we find that their choice of subject and forms differed very little from that of their predecessors, although the younger generation of artists did turn their attention away from uplifting scenes and more towards everyday life. It was in the way they depicted their subjects that they truly broke with the past. Using rapid, sketchy and wild visual language, they rejected all that was conservative and right-wing, associating themselves with the modern age, where industrialisation and new technology were bringing rapid change. It is worth considering the work of the Impressionists in a broader context, abandoning the artificial division between what came before and after them. The progression in the landscape painting of the nineteenth century can clearly be seen in The Outdoor Life.Triton Foundation
The Triton Foundation has built up a private collection featuring masterpieces from the period 1860-1970, which in many ways ties in perfectly with the Gemeentemuseum’s collection. Both collections have therefore been combined in the current presentations.Cahier
Each presentation is accompanied by a Triton ‘cahier’ with pieces written by several authors.