Tracing the American discovery of Impressionism in the late 19th-century.
Although a small group of French artists, including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, may have pioneered Impressionism in the 19th century, its prevalence was in fact far more widespread. Thanks to a number of Americans who spent time working abroad, Impressionist art went on to flourish across the Atlantic.
Mary Cassatt is among the artists featured in this exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, exploring the evolution of Impressionism abroad. Born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, she spent much of her adult life in France, befriending Degas and showing her work at Impressionist exhibitions in Paris. In fact, she became such an integral part of the movement that Gustave Geffroy described her as one of ‘les trois grandes dames’, alongside French natives Marie Bracquemond and Berthe Morisot. James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent also enjoyed close friendships with the group in Paris, while Theodore Robinson was encouraged to experiment with light while working alongside Monet at Giverny.
A number of works are used to draw out the Impressionist tendencies of artists working in America, such as John Twachtman and Childe Hassam. These two men were the organising force behind The Ten, a group of painters who left the conservative Society of American Artists in order to pursue Impressionism, incorporating the style and subjects of the genre in their work