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With the painting Le Passeur by William Stott of Oldham (1857-1900) at its centre, this exhibition examines British Impressionism in the late 19th century.

William Stott of Oldham’s painting Le Passeur (The Ferryman) (1881) is considered a key moment in the breakthrough of British Art to naturalism and established Stott as one of the most progressive British artists of his day.

Secured for the British public with Art Fund support, this painting is now being displayed in Southampton as part of a tour of UK galleries in partnership with Tate.

The exhibition will show Stott in the company of those who, like him, contributed to the development of British Naturalism and Impressionism and will also include examples of French Impressionism, drawn from Southampton’s permanent collection, to place British art of the 1880s and 1890s more broadly in a dialogue with French painting of that time.

Shown alongside Le Passeur will be work by some of Stott’s contemporaries who were influenced by the move in painting toward rural Naturalism, illustrating what connects Stott to them at this moment in his career and what distinguishes his singular vision.

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Valid to 31 December 2020

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