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Introduction to a Painting: Edouard Manet's The Railway

Liz Tunick, Kress Interpretive Fellow, National Gallery of Art; Mary Morton, curator and head of the department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art; Kimberly Jones, associate curator, National Gallery of Art; Charlie Ritchie, associate curator, National Gallery of Art; Ann Hoenigswald, senior conservator, National Gallery of Art; Wil Scott, head of adult programs, National Gallery of Art Edouard Manet's iconic painting The Railway has intrigued and perplexed viewers ever since it was first publicly exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1874. The painting was given to the National Gallery of Art in 1956 and now hangs in the recently reinstalled West Building Galleries devoted to 19th-century French painting. Gallery Fellow Liz Tunick discusses the painting with National Gallery curators Mary Morton, Kimberly Jones, and Charlie Ritchie, paintings conservator Ann Hoenigswald, and educator Wil Scott. Their discussions explore and illuminate the artist's innovative techniques- such as his bold, varied brushwork- and the painting's historical context, noting the contemporary criticism it received for its modern subject matter and unrefined appearance.