External editor: After starting work on "French Collection" I had to deal with thousands of photos in French folder on my hard drive, select, classify, sort, process photos, read reference materials and finally I was able to complete this article.
For various reasons, paintings are too large to be photographed at close range, or too many tourists always block view, or inevitable reflection of glass frame, or incomplete background information about works, and difficulty of French translation, etc. Many problems, despite visiting world-famous heavyweight exhibition halls such as Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Musée d'Orangerie, Pompidou National Center for Arts and Culture in Paris, photographing countless photographs and finally sorting out photographs of works. which are easy to display down, but extremely limited.
Fortunately, selected photographs constitute a special theme of French Impressionist masters to be shown and presented here, including a total of 17 works by 5 masters. Among them are 1 Manet, 1 Morisot, 4 Monet, 6 Van Gogh and 5 Renoir.
(Above: Louvre in rain, October 2015, photographed in Paris, photographer: Weiwei)
(Above: Mona Lisa among crowd, Paris, October 2015, photographer: Weiwei)
(Above: Musée d'Orsay gold watch, Paris, October 2015, photographer: Weiwei)
(Top: View of Paris from Musée d'Orsay large clock, October 2015, photographed in Paris, photo: Wei Wei)
(Above: Pompidou National Center for Arts and Culture, October 2015, photographed in Paris, photo: Weiwei)
When discussing French Impressionism, we usually start with Manet because Manet had close contact with Impressionist painters, including Morisot (an Impressionist painter who later became Manet's sister-in-law), Degas, and Monet. And all these artists treated Manet as a leader; although Manet himself did not want to participate in it, he also objectively experienced deep influence of impressionism. For example, Manet abandoned outline and used changes in color and tone for form; at persuasion of Morisot, he began to try outdoor painting, and in painting he used bright colors and so on.
Luncheon on Grass, 1862-1863, Manet, oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay
This painting was an unsuccessful work by Manet at Salon, but it became focus of attention in Salon Exhibition of Losers, making her famous overnight.
Met Manet in 1868 and later became his daughter-in-law. As for painting, he and Manet communicated with each other. Morisot participated in almost all salon exhibitions of Impressionists from 1874 to 1886, making a unique contribution to development of Impressionism. She is good at portraying women and children, and The Cradle is her showcase work.
Cradle, 1873, Morisot, oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay
In picture, mother watches sleeping baby with infinite tenderness, her arms and cradle are closed, forming a closed loop, and child is cared for inside, emphasizing characteristics of motherhood; The white color of mother's hair, clothes, necklace and dark background contrast with color of mother's hair.
The experience of painting outdoors at a young age made him a landscape painter. After serving in army, he returned to Paris and met Pissarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Sisley and Manet, and together with Pissarro he was considered a pioneer of Impressionist school of painting and is also a consistent practitioner impressionism. In his work, Seine, Gothic cathedrals, streets of Paris and water lily ponds become verses of light like never before.
1. One of paintings "Pond with water lilies", Monet, Orangerie Museum
2. "Pond with water lilies", part 2, Monet, Orangerie Museum
3. "Pond with water lilies", part 3, Monet, Orangerie Museum
4. Field of wild poppies, 1873, Monet, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay
The Impressionists preferred to paint outdoors, and their themes turned more to nature and life.
Fourth, Van Gogh
Van Gogh is a representative figure of Impressionism. During his lifetime, he lived in poverty and relied on support of his younger brother. After his death, thanks to efforts of his younger brother, Van Gogh's paintings were widely recognized, and subsequent auction prices set sky-high records.
1. "Self-portrait in a blue suit", 1889, Van Gogh, oil on canvas
Van Gogh created over 30 recorded self-portraits in his lifetime, and this self-portrait was painted while he was in Saint-Rémy hospital. Unable to go outside, Van Gogh was extremely emotionally unstable, but in order not to disturb his family, he deliberately painted himself full of energy.
Another beardless self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh for his mother's 70th birthday sold at auction in 1998 for $71.5 million.
2. Arles Room, 1888, Van Gogh, oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay
Since artist Gauguin was invited by Van Gogh to come live with him in Arles, Van Gogh was very happy, so painting also represents a clean and relaxed atmosphere, expressing peace and lightness of current mood.
3. "Midday Rest", 1890, Van Gogh, Musée d'Orsay
This painting is also work of Van Gogh when he was in Saint-Remy hospital. Because of his emotional ups and downs, Van Gogh could only express his depression through painting.
4. "Doctor Gachet", 1890, Van Gogh, Musée d'Orsay
Van Gogh had a good impression of Dr. Gachet when they first met. Dr. Gachet was a good friend of many Impressionist painters and also collected many Impressionist paintings. When Dr. Gachet highly appreciated "Sunflowers", inspired Van Gogh was very happy and on second day after arriving in Auvers painted two portraits of Dr. Gachet. Another oil painting of Dr. Gachet was auctioned off in New York in 1990 for a hefty price tag of US$82.5 million.
5. "Madame Guino with Umbrella and Gloves", 1888, Van Gogh, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay
Madame Gino was wife of innkeeper Van Gogh when he was in Arles, and was very friendly with Van Gogh and Gauguin. Therefore, Van Gogh and Gauguin invited Madame Gino as a model to paint her portrait; painting is another version of Madame Gino Reading a Book, collected at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
6. "Church of Auvers", 1890, Van Gogh, oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay
Because his father was a pastor, Van Gogh was especially fond of churches, which are also often found in his paintings. This painting of church at Auvers was created by Van Gogh while he was in south of France, expressing Van Gogh's longing for his hometown in north.
Among all Impressionists, Renoir is perhaps most popular, because what he painted were beautiful flowers, pretty children and beautiful women, which reflected Renoir's concern for humanity and love of life. The women painted by artist are plump, charming, charming and touching, children in paintings are tender, sweet and innocent.
1. Ball at Moulin de la Blin, 1876, Renoir, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay
This painting depicts hustle and bustle of Parisian life. The dance hall in picture is located in Montmartre district, near residence of Renoir. On a sunny day, there are many people at ball and stage is lively, giving people a strong impression of joy and fun; painter makes good use of soft, velvety brush strokes to create a shivering and shimmering effect of light and shadow that is full of fabulous beauty. This is a scale painting measuring 131 cm * 175 cm.
2. "Portrait of two girls" (portrait de deux fillettes), 1890-1892, oil on canvas, Orangerie Museum
In this small painting, Renoir depicted with his unique strokes fragile skin of two girls, shining golden hair, soft outlines and a slightly melancholic expression. The warm tone emphasizes tenderness and beauty of the girls.
(Above: Wei Wei at Musée de l'Orangerie, October 2015, photographed in Paris)
3. "Girl at piano", 1892, Renoir, oil on canvas
In 1890, Renoir married Irene. After his marriage, Renoir often created many paintings with scenes from his wife's life and everyday family life, such paintings are following. "Girl Playing Piano" by Renoir, only 5 records have been preserved.
4. Seated Girl, 1883, Renoir, oil on canvas, Orangery Museum
Unlike many previous artists, Renoir does a good job of placing nude figures in light and shadow of nature, using subtle and unique brushstrokes to depict effects of light and shadow on human body under sun.
5. "Blonde with a rose" (blonde a la rose), 1915-1917, Renoir, oil on canvas
Finally, through a group of photos, let me give a spoiler to Weiwei who listens carefully to a lecture or is focused on taking pictures;
(Pictured above: Weiwei, who is focused on filming but didn't expect Oriole to be behind ~ October 2015, taken in Paris)
(Above: Weiwei, who collected photos taken in Paris in October 2015)
(Photo above: Rush to Market at Louvre, October 2015, taken in Paris)
(Top photo: clearly "escaping", what do you think? October 2015, taken in Paris)