DC -- Corcoran Gallery of Art -- European Galleries:
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CORCEU_100904_011.JPG: Nature, Life, and Art in Europe:
Nature was one of the great themes of 19th-century European art. Some of the most important developments in the painting of nature took place in France, where, from the mid-century onwards, artists often worked in the open air to capture the beautiful, raw, and ever-changing conditions of the natural world.
In this spirit, the painter Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) led a broad movement that became known as Realism. This approach implied a faithful depiction of what could be seen and experienced, in an attempt to create an uncompromising art that was true to a sometimes harsh reality.
The Impressionism movement emerged out of this environment. The first impressionist exhibition, in Paris in 1874, revealed a young generation of artist that included Claude Money (1840-1926), Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), and Camille Pissarro (1830-1903). This group remained true to the idea of Realism, but used spontaneous brushwork and vibrant color to depict the light and atmosphere around them.
Other artists explored Realist and Impressionist themes in the urban environment. Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Honore Daumier (1808-1879), and Jean-Francois Raffaelli (1850-1924) produced visions of Paris that remain among the most evocative scenes of city life ever painted.
CORCEU_100904_014.JPG: Alfred Sisley
Marly-Le-Roi, c. 1875
CORCEU_100904_021.JPG: Camille Pissarro
The Louvre, Morning, Rainy Weather, 1900
CORCEU_100904_027.JPG: Claude Monet
Willows of Vetheuil, 1880
CORCEU_100904_034.JPG: Johan Barthold Jongkind
Zoutveau Polder near Delft, 1890
CORCEU_100904_039.JPG: Johan Barthold Jongkind
Moonlight: Coast Scene, n.d.
CORCEU_100904_045.JPG: Henri Fantin-Latour
CORCEU_100904_052.JPG: Gustave Courbet
Ornans, Birthplace of the Artist, n.d.
CORCEU_100904_057.JPG: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Young Ladies Playing Badminton, c. 1885
CORCEU_100904_065.JPG: Eugene Boudin
Le Havre, 1883
CORCEU_100904_070.JPG: Honore Victorin Daumier
At the Gallery Drouot, 1873
CORCEU_100904_080.JPG: Gustave Courbet
Landscape with Fisherman, 1872
CORCEU_100904_087.JPG: Gustave Courbet with Cherubino Pata
Landscape, c 1869-1877
CORCEU_100904_097.JPG: The Golden Age of Dutch Art:
In many ways, Dutch art was "invented" during the 17th century. For several centuries up to that time, The Netherlands -- also known as the United Provinces -- had been controlled by Spain, the most powerful nation in Europe. After 80 years of intermittent war, the Dutch achieved independence in 168. This consolidated what was already becoming an age of great prosperity for the new Protestant nation as trade, industry, and colonial activity brought great wealth.
In this environment, all the arts thrived and began what has often been referred to as a "Golden Age." Dutch painting of the 17th century is characterized by depiction of the everyday world: portraiture, landscape, still life, and scenes showing daily life. Painters tended to specialize in one of these areas, collectively giving us a vivid idea of what it was like to live in their turbulent but brilliant times.
The main market for these paintings were the wealthy and ambitious merchants of Amsterdam, Delft, The Hague, and other Dutch cities. There were an extraordinary number of painters active in this period. In this room are examples by some of the most important of them, including the landscape artists Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) and Jan Van Goyen (1596-1656), the portraitists Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) and Rembrandt Hermensz Van Rijn (1606-1669), and the genre painter Jan Steen (1626-1679).
CORCEU_100904_190.JPG: 18th- and 19th-Century Art:
This room contains a selection of European paintings and decorative art from the 18th and 19th centuries. The arrangement of this room, in which works are presented two and three deep on the walls, is usually referred to as being in a "salon style." This manner of hanging paintings was common in the 19th century. With a few exceptions, the works are British and French. Most of them arrived in the institution in 1928, as part of the magnificent gift to the Corcoran from Senator William A. Clark. Senator Clark was especially fond of French art, as it reflected in this display. On the far (south) wall are 18th-century French works, and in the room beyond, the Salon Dore is an example of a complete interior from the period. Adjacent to this on the east wall are 18th-century British paintings. Facing these, on the west wall, which is divided by a 16th-century northern European mantle, there is a selection of largely naturalist French art from the 19th century. And on the north wall, adjacent to this text, is a selection of British, French, and Spanish paintings mainly on exotic and symbolist themes.
CORCEU_100904_286.JPG: Gaston Lachaise
Torso of Elevation, modeled 1912-18; cast 1966
Gaston Lachaise stayed loyal to his European training even after his move to America in 1906. At a time when abstract sculpture was gaining popularity, he remained interested in figuration and simplified, recognizable forms. For several years, he was employed as a full-time assistant to Paul Manship (whose Indian Running with Dogs is also on view in this gallery), while he worked on his own projects in his free time. Undoubtedly inspired by his wife Isabel, whom he once called "the goddess I am searching to express in all things," Lachaise created a number of sculptures of full-figured women in regal poses such as this one.
CORCEU_100904_298.JPG: Giuseppe Croff
The Veiled Nun, c. 1860
CORCEU_100904_308.JPG: Stained Glass from the Cathedral of Soissons
French, 13th century
three medallions and six half medallions of glass
Two of the panels are by the most skilled artisan working at Soissons. They illustrate episodes in the lives of Saints Crispinus and Crispinianus, patron saints of cobblers whose relics are preserved in Soissons. The top center panel shows Rictiovarus, the third-century Roman governor in Gaul, and the two future saints. Rictiovarus had ordered the pair into a pool of molten lead. They were miraculously saved when the Roman governor was hit in the eye by a drop of lead, went insane, and humped into a pool. In the middle center panel, an angel brings Crispinus and Crispinianus the news that they will be rewarded for the torments they suffered.
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