Birth of Impressionism
Left: James Abbott McNeil Whistler, Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1; Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 1871. Center: Édouard Manet, The Fifer (detail), 1866. Right: Edgar Degas, The Dancing Lesson (detail), 1873-1876. All photos ©RMN (Musée d’Orsay)/Hervé Lewandowski

Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay

May 22, 2010September 6, 2010

Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay puts forth nearly 100 works by the famous masters who called France their home during the mid-19th century and from whose midst arose one of the most original and recognizable of all artistic styles, Impressionism.

This exhibition begins with paintings by naturalist artists such as Bougereau and Courbet, and presents American expatriate James McNeil Whistler’s Arrangement in Gray and Black, known to many as “Whistler’s Mother.” Early work by Manet, Monet, Renoir and Sisley are on view, as well as a selection of Degas’ paintings that depict images of the ballet, the racetrack and life in “la Belle Époque.”

Notable works include:

  • The Fife Player by Edouard Manet (1866)
  • Family Reunion by Frédéric Bazille (1867)
  • Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1 or Portrait of the Artist’s Mother by James McNeil Whistler (1871)
  • The Birth of Venus by William Adolphe Bouguereau (1879)
  • The Cradle by Berthe Morisot (1872)
  • Saint-Lazare Station by Claude Monet (1877)
  • The Swing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1876)
  • Rue Montorgueil, Paris. Festival of June 30, 1878 by Claude Monet
  • Racehorses Before the Stands by Edgar Degas (1866–1868)
  • The Dancing Lesson by Edgar Degas (1873–1876)
  • Portraits at the Stock Exchange by Edgar Degas (1878–1879)