Exhibition of French Still Lifes Serves Up Visual Splendor

  • TOLEDO, Ohio
  • /
  • January 19, 2020

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Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), Still Life. Oil on canvas, 1867. Toledo Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1949.6
Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836–1904), Flowers and Fruit. Oil on canvas, 1866. Toledo Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1951.363

ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends is on view this winter at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Organized in partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum, the exhibition promises to be a focused but rewarding experience of a selection of richly evocative still lifes painted by French artists in the 1860s.

ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends will be on view at TMA from Jan. 18 to April 12, 2020. It will then travel to Cincinnati, where it can be seen from May 15 to Aug. 9, 2020.

The exhibition is curated by TMA’s Lawrence W. Nichols, the William Hutton senior curator, European & American painting and sculpture before 1900, and Peter Jonathan Bell, Cincinnati’s associate curator of European paintings, sculpture and drawings.

ONE EACH invites a dialogue with the past, exploring the impact that the still lifes of the 1860s had on art movements in the 20th century, including, and perhaps most importantly, Cubism.  

“With its solemnity as well as its spontaneity, Camille Pissarro’s Still Life of 1867 is one of the most rewarding and mesmerizing compositions in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art,” Nichols said. “This exhibition will place this masterpiece within the context of the important developments in French still life paintings in this vital decade.”

Also included are sterling examples from the hand of Édouard Manet, regarded as the father of modern painting, and Paul Cézanne, considered to have been the driving precursor of Cubism, the early 20th century’s major art movement. In addition, superb paintings by Claude Monet, Henri Fantin-Latour and Gustave Courbet will be on view.

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), Still Life with Bottle, Carafe, Bread, and Wine. Oil on canvas, 1867. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 2014.18.32

“Just as these French painters have inspired countless other artists, this exhibition will nurture and provoke the artistic spirit in our community,” Nichols said. “The artists’ presentation of the tangible, experiential world will resonate with visitors.”

While ONE EACH seeks to connect this decade of paintings with both past and future, the goal is similar to the object of still life paintings—visual splendor.

“The painters were fully aware of the tradition of still life representations dating back centuries,” Nichols said. “The desire and motivation to realistically represent things is constant.”

Tags: european art

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