The NGV’s Winter Masterpieces Exhibition Is Bringing More Than 100 French Impressionist Artworks To Melbourne

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The NGV’s Winter Masterpieces Exhibition Is Bringing More Than 100 French Impressionist Artworks To Melbourne

The likes of Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh will be on display for four months.

Of the more than 100 French Impressionist artworks that will be adorning the National Gallery of Victoria’s walls this winter, 79 have never before been seen in Australia. (Featured image:© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—Claude Monet, ‘Grainstack (Snow Effect)’ 1891. Oil on canvas)

What’s more, sixteen of those will be canvasses from Monet which will be presented to the public in a way that honours the viewing inside the oval room in Paris’ Musée de l’Orangerie—the very same gallery that Monet helped design.

To say that we’re excited is a huge understatement especially since we’re still not over the NGV’s Triennial, which still has more than one month left to run, and also that this will be the first Winter Masterpieces exhibition since 2019’s Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality and Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape.

Dr Miranda Wallace, the Senior Curator of International Exhibition Projects at the NGV, says ”The NGV’s exhibition of French Impressionism will contain many extraordinary and celebrated paintings, such as Renoir’s ‘Dance at Bougival’ and Monet’s superlative 1905 canvas ‘Water Lilies’.

“These artworks from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are among the most iconic images of French Impressionism, and many of them epitomise what is most loved about the movement: radiant colour, iridescent light effects, a joyous and impassioned response to the beauty of nature.”


Joining the likes of Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh will be other masterpieces from Manet, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, Cézanne and Mary Cassatt. Together. Together, these master painters transformed the art world in the 19th century with their depictions of life, light and colour, and the NGV’s exhibition intends to highlight many of the features that set Impressionism apart.

As such, the exhibition will be set up thematically in ten sections and will allow visitors to move from the movement’s early beginnings (think painting en plein air and the influence of the Barbizon school) through to various subject matters, experimentation and ideas important to the painters as well as their social connections and relationships.

French Impressionism: From the Museum of Fine Arts Boston will be on display at the NGV International from 4 June to 3 October 2021. As these painters sought new and interesting perspectives, the NGV will seek to do the same when presenting their artworks.

For more info, see the NGV website.

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