An Exhibit on Impressionism with a Twist


"Washerwomen at Trouville," Eugene Louis Boudin, Oil on Panel, 1885

When most people think of impressionism, they think of the Mt. Rushmore of the movement. Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, and maybe a couple of others. These names crossed my mind too before I stepped through the doors of an exhibit on Impressionism at our local museum. But there was no Monet, no Degas, no Manet. However there were 41 Impressionism paintings tracing the beginning of the movement from Europe to the Pacific Northwest. And it was really good.

 Seeing Impressionism: Europe, America, and the Northwest

Harbor Scene by Eugene Louis Boudin

It is always a rush to look at original Impressionism paintings. But, I have to admit, seeing Claude Monet calendars at every Barnes and Noble for the last thirty years is a little tired. This particular exhibit was anything but tired. The twist is that the exhibit lead the viewer on a path from the beginnings French Impressionism, how it was impacted by technology, and how it influenced artists all the way to the Pacific Northwest. It would take too long to talk about every painting and artist in this Impressionism exhibit, so I will just  give you some highlights. 

Eugene Louis Boudin (French, 1824-1898) – There were a couple of paintings by this artist, as well as a great quote from him, and a quote about him.  Boudin painted a lot of harbor and beach scenes, and was a huge influence on the Impressionists, especially Claude Monet.

“It is due to Eugene Boudin that I became a painter.” – Claude Monet

“Three strokes of the brush after nature are worth more than two days of laboring at the easel.”    Eugene Louis Boudin

 I don’t know about you, but I could learn a lot from this guy…

"The Fishing Port, Diappe, Morning, Overcast Sky, Camille Pissarro, 1902

Camille Pissarro (French, 1830-1903) – Born on the Island of St. Thomas, Pissarro was among the first to divide his colors into tones instead of blending them. Camille Pissarro was one of the most innovative of the Impressionism movement, and was the only artist to exhibit in both impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro was also the only artist to show his work in all eight of the Paris Impressionism exhibits, from 1874 to 1886.

Miniature Landscape Painting by Ivan Pokhitonov, oil

Ivan Pokhitonov (1850-1923) – A Self taught artist who spent most of his life in France and Belgium, and was greatly respected as an unrivaled painter of highly detailed and delicate miniature landscapes. His paintings in this show were much more detailed than typical Impressionism.

"The two Sisters" Pierre-Auguste Renoir, oil, 1890

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919) – Renoir’s part in the exhibit was how he portrayed the human figure in an impressionistic style, and how he changed the way the figure was painted on canvas as radically as his fellow Impressionists changed landscape painting.

Portrait of a Lady by William James Glackens, oil


"Natalie in a Blue Skirt" William James Glackens, oil

William James Glackens (American, 1870-1938) – Glackens co-founded the Ashcan movement in New York, became known for his dark-hued paintings of street scenes and daily life there. Glackens was influenced by Renoir.

"The Rainbow" George Inness, oil on panel, 1875-1876

George Inness (American, 1825-1894) –  One of America’s foremost 19th century landscape painters, is frequently compared to the famous Barbizon School painter and father of Impressionism, Camille Corot. Inness became a major leader in America’s Tonalist movement, which emphasized mood and shadow.

French Impressionism meets the Pacific Northwest

Impressionism reached the northwest in the 1880’s and 1890’s, arriving with artists who trained in Europe or on the East Coast. After all , there was plenty to paint: the mountains, the coast, waterfalls, prairies, rivers, and the ever-changing weather.

"Sunset" Edward Lincoln Espey, oil, 1887

Edward Lincoln Espey (American, 1860-1889) – Espey studied in San Francisco and Paris, and then settled in Portland, Oregon where he was active in the local art scene. He was doing his best work when he was struck bt tuberculosis and died at age 29.

"Shoshone Falls" Edward Lincoln Espey, oil, 1885

 William Thomas McDermitt (American, 1894-1961)- an American, and a teacher at Washington State College in Pullman, he studied in New York City and also taught in Los Angeles. He came along in the 1920’s, at which time the movement of Impressionism was complete.

"Spring, the Queen of the Chateaux" William Thomas McDermitt, oil on canvas


Again, there were more artists, paintings and interesting information on Impressionism and it’s movement across the Atlantic and into the Pacific Northwest at the Exhibit. Most if not all the paintings were on loan from the Tacoma Art Museum, so kudos to them!

A while back I wrote an article on a Contemporary Impressionist who lives in the Northwest, Robert Krogle. I invite you to check out the article and his paintings here.

As always, thank you for reading, hope you got something out of this article. Feel free to leave a comment below, or better yet get free updates by subscribing to the RSS feed, or by leaving your email address up there in box in the right hand corner. It’s easy, confidential, and free.

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  1. […] If you would like to see older, historic impressionist paintings, check out this article – “An Exhibit on Impressionism with a Twist”.     […]

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