Permanent Collection Installations
Realism Barbizon Early Impressionism Later Impressionism Alternatives to Impressionism Postimpressionism







The impressionist movement arose in the early 1870s as a protest against established arts institutions in France, the Academy and its annual Salon exhibition. Exhibiting at the Salon was the only way for aspiring artists to succeed, yet the established artists who composed Salon juries rejected much of the work submitted by the impressionists. Frustrated, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, and others joined formally to raise funds to display and sell their work apart from the Salon. The most notable abstainer was Edouard Manet, who refused to abandon his pursuit of official recognition. The first impressionist exhibition was held in rooms overlooking the Boulevard des Capucines in the heart of Paris, in April 1874, timed to coincide with the Salon. It created a furor, exciting heated debate among serious critics as well as in the popular, humorous press. In all, the group of artists mounted eight exhibitions, the last in 1886, then disbanded as they matured and became relatively successful. The National Gallery of Art has a number of works that were shown in those exhibitions, including Pissarro's Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes and The Harbor at Lorient by Morisot.


Alfred Sisley 
Meadow