Friday, May 1, 2009

Impressionist Painting 1850-1900

The National Gallery, London has three important paintings of bathers: Monet's 'Bathers at La Grenouillere', Seurat's 'Bathers at Asnieres', and Cezanne's 'Bathers' (Les Grandes Baigneuses). Although made by French artists within a period of about thirty years, all three look very different: this film explores the broader context for their creation.

This film shows how nineteenth-century French artists exploited new subject matter, such as the bourgeoisie at leisure, new ways of composing paintings and depicting spatial form, and new ways of applying paint, to produce a variety of 'modern' works. It explores the experimental nature of avant-garde French painting in the second half of the century, looking also at the work of academic painters like Ingres to understand why these developments caused such an uproar.

Stunning photography of the paintings is accompanied by location footage and on-screen interviews with acknowledged experts on the subject.

Written and narrated by Louise Govier and produced by the National Gallery Audio Visual Unit

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