The Impressionist and Photography at the Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid


From 10 October 2019, at the Museo Nacional Thyssen – Bornemisza in Madrid a major exhibition explores the relationship between impressionism and photography.

cover image
left: Edgar Degas, Head of woman, oil on canvas, 1887-1890, Ann and Gordon Getty collection.

Right: Fèlix Nadar, Mme Audouard, 1854 – 1870, Bibliothèque National de France, Paris.

Few inventions had such a significant impact on modern society as photography did.
Its advent radically changed how artists, particularly the Impressionist painters, looked at the world and depicted reality.
Curated by Paloma Alarcó, Los impresionistas y la fotografía (The Impressionists and Photography) on view at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza examines the repercussions the invention of photography had on the development of the visual arts in the second half of the nineteenth century and offers a critical reflection on the affinities and mutual influences between painting and photography, including the debate it sparked among critics and artists.
Following the appearance of the first daguerreotypes in the late 1830s and, above all, the subsequent discovery of techniques for making photographic prints on paper, a very close relationship was established between photography and painting.
The artificial eye of the camera of photographers such as Gustave Le Gray, Eugène Cuvelier, Henri Le Secq, Olympe Aguado, Charles Marville and Félix Nadar spurred Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas and the young Impressionists Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Marie Bracquemond, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot and Gustave Caillebotte to devise a new way of looking at the world.
The forest, Figures in the Landscape, The Water, In the Countryside, The Monuments, The City, The Portrait, the Body and The Archive are the nine sections into which the exhibition is divided. The sections illustrate the artistic interests shared by painters and photographers and show the new way of looking, and artistic freedom of a society influenced by the new visual culture photography brought.


Left: Claude Monet, the Rowing Boat , 1887, oil on canvas, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France/Bridgeman Images. Right: Achille Quinet, River scene, Etudes d’ aprés nature, Wilson Centre for Photography

Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza

Left: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Woman with a Parasol in a Garden, 1875, oil on canvas, Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid.  Right: Constant Pujo, Female Nude in Nature, Musèe Francais de la photographie / Conseil Départemental de L’Essonne, Benoit Chain.


Left: Edgar Degas, After the bath. Woman Drying herself, 1890, oil on canvas, The Henry and Rose Pearlman Collection, in long term deposit at Princeton University Art Museum.
Right: Paul Berthier, Life study n° 1, Bibliothèque National de France, Paris

Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza

Left: Armand Guillaumin, The bridge of the Archbishop and the Apse of Notre Dame, 1880, oil on canvas. Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza Collection, deposited at Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid. Rigth: Édouard Baldus, Rear View of Notre Dame, 1860-70, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid


Los impresionistas y la fotografía (The Impressionists and Photography)
Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza
Paseo del Prado, 8 – 28014 Madrid
October, 15 2019 / January, 26 .2020

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