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Canada and Impressionism
New Horizons


This exhibition, mounted in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, shows how Canadian painters discovered the Impressionist revolution in France in the late 19th century, and how they reacted to it through their own distinct style and subjects. Upon their return home, the inspiration they had a drawn from Impressionism proved key to the emergence of modern Canadian painting. 

The artistic development of these young Canadian painters began in Paris, where they were drawn by the promise of studying alongside the great masters of the global capital of art. They were impressed by the visual boldness of the works of Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, with whom they shared an interest in fleeting atmospheres and the tumult of modern life. While some stayed in Europe, others returned to Canada where they introduced the public to Impressionist painting. Adopting an innovative style to portray the everyday life of their home country and its magnificent landscapes, they captured its particular qualities of light and harsh climate, creating surprising works of great beauty. 

This exhibition of around one hundred paintings enables visitors to discover 35 major Canadian artists who have remained mostly unknown beyond their country’s borders. The works are arranged in eight sections following the painters’ artistic development, from their early encounters with Impressionism to their reinterpretation of the movement. This is an entirely new and unique opportunity for Europeans to discover the originality of Canadian art at the dawn of the 20th century, made possible by exceptional support from major institutions, primarily in Canada, and from private collections.