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In the 19th century, numerous artistic approaches to nature developed. Impressi- onist painters studied the different light situations, seasons and weather conditi- ons. With their paintings of rural France, coastal and seascapes and scenes from the metropolis of Paris, they developed an innovative visual language and estab- lished a new canon of themes. At the same time, the pioneers of the emerging medium of photography turned to the same motifs. Since the 1850s at the latest, painters and photographers had been in lively exchange with each other and sti- mulated each other.
This interaction between photography and painting in the 19th century is exa- mined in the exhibition "A New Art. Photography and Impressionism" with the help of more than 80 valuable photographs from public and private collections in Germany, Austria and France, including works by Gustave Le Gray, Eugène Cuvelier, August Kotzsch and Heinrich Kühn. The artistic photographs are juxta- posed with central works from the museum's collection, for example by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley, some of which have been part of the museum's permanent collection since the founding phase and whose acquisition caused a sensation at the time.
The exhibition thus continues the series of presentations on Impressionist art in the Von der Heydt Museum and at the same time sets new accents. For the first time, it directs attention to the early history of photography as a mass medium and its emancipation as an artistic genre in dialogue with painting. At the same time, it traces the essential lines in the history of the museum's own collection to the art of Impressionism and its precursors.
An exhibition in cooperation with the Museum Barberini in Potsdam
The complementary collection presentation "A New Look" with a selection of Impressionist and related works rounds off the comprehensive view of the inno- vative power of the artistic currents of this epoch.