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Giants of Art: The Post-Impressionists at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
April 24 @ 7:30 pm
An event every week that begins at 7:30 pm on Monday, repeating until May 16, 2023
Realism was dead. Born in Florentine workshops in the early 1400s, realism enjoyed a long run, dominating European art for four centuries. By the mid-1860s it had degenerated into a weary superficiality. This inspired a group of young, creative, yet disgruntled artists to create a new artistic language, and to propound radical theories and techniques. They did so, knowing they would be ridiculed, and worse, ignored.
Impressionism, as it was called, slowly won a grudging acceptance, but by the 1880s a new generation of artists emerged. Like runners in a relay race, the Impressionists handed off the baton of artistic innovation to this next generation—Cezanne, Matisse, Van Gogh and Picasso—today viewed as giants of European art history. If it can be said that the Impressionists—Manet, Monet, Renoir—fired the first salvos against realistic art, the Post-Impressionists reconfigured the battleground.
Each Post-Impressionist artist pursued his own unique artistic vision, but all were united in adopting the Impressionists’ conviction that art should not be filtered through ideology, intellect or ‘schools of art.’ Thus liberated from constraint, art, they contended, should be independent, the exclusive product of the artist’s imagination and skill.
Out of a field so rich in artistic genius, it is difficult to narrow the lens to just three artists, but the focus of this four week series will be on Cezanne, Matisse, and, secondarily, Van Gogh.