Friday, April 29, 2016

The Taft Museum (part 1)

Yesterday we went to the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati to see a special exhibit called Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape. Since Daubigny was an artist I had heard little about, I was surprised to see how his work, over time, transitioned from realism to an almost Impressionistic style. It was clear that Monet was heavily influenced by his work, though I had never heard him mentioned in connection to Impressionism. Daubigny also urged his art dealer to sell Monet's work, telling him that if any of them didn't sell, he would replace them with his own paintings. He resigned in protest from the Paris Salon when they refused to show Monet's work.

 Sunset Near Villerville, Charles-Francois Daubigny

The Banks of the River Oise, Charles-Francois Daubigny

"Before the Impressionists, French artist Charles-François Daubigny pushed the boundaries of traditional landscape. In the 1850s and 1860s, Daubigny anticipated and helped shape Impressionism by routinely painting outdoors to capture qualities of light and atmosphere, by launching a floating studio boat on the French rivers, and by exhibiting sketch-like works that critics assailed as “mere impressions.” He became a mentor, colleague, and friend to the Impressionists, especially Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro." ( )

 Poppy Field, Claude Monet

Van Gogh, of course, took it a step further, boldly putting down distinct brush strokes and using even brighter and more saturated colors than the Impressionists.

 Wheat Field with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh

 The progression is pretty noticeable if we look at the handling of similar subject matter by each artist:

 Apple Trees in Blossom, Charles-Francois Daubigny

Orchard in Bloom, Claude Monet

Orchard in Blossom Plum Trees, Vincent Van Gogh

If you're in the Cincinnati area, this exhibit is well worth seeing. I learned a lot about a subject I thought I was well-educated about, and an artist I hadn't really known anything about, and, of couse, the paintings were breathtaking. To see a slide show of the exhibit, go here.

Tune in for my next post, when I'll show you more of the impressive Taft Museum of Art.


  1. wow, i truly love the daubigny paintings... i've never even heard of him! thank you, sharmon!


    1. I was surprised that he wasn't known to me or most people, since he obviously was such a huge influence on the impressionists. Glad to introduce you! xoxo

  2. When I opened this blog and saw the Taft I became a little bit home-sick. And then to view those fabulous impressionists....what a wonderful review of your afternoon with the masters.

    1. Being at the Taft really brought back memories for me, as my parents used to take us there as kids. I've been there since, but not often. The exhibit was wonderful.


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