William Turner, (1775-1851) The Harbour of Brest : The Quayside and Château, vers 1827 Huile sur toile, H.172,7-L.223,5 cm Londres, Tate ©Tate London , 2010


From April 1st to August 31st 2011 – Quimper Museum of Fine Arts
From Turner to Monet, the Discovery of Brittany by the Landscape Artists of the 19th century

Quimper Museum of Fine Arts acquirred in 2009 and 2010, two paintings: Louise Josephine Sarazin de Belmont, View of St. Pol de Leon (1837), and Jules Coignet, The Oak in the dolmen Forest Dark Forest (1836). These works were previously unknown in the history of painting inspired by Britany. Their rediscovery has established two new milestones in the history of landscape in Brittany between Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot.

This prompted to reconsider this period, particularly the movement of artists across Brittany, the choice of sites and themes, and developments during the nineteenth century.

This exhibition, for the first time, puts into perspective, the discovery of Brittany by the landscape artists of the nineteenth century.

From the first coming artists in the late eighteenth century to the new experiments at the dawn of the twentieth century, all were split between the romantic and idyllic visions or between the countryside and the coast. 1863, date of arrival of the railway at the end of the peninsula, is a major break: Brittany is popular in Parisian studios, artists flock, some are grouped in colonies, others prefer to be isolated and explore new places and invent new topics.

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