Last night, I attended the private view of The Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904), a vast exhibition at Tate Britain that seeks to map the connections between French and British artists, patrons and art dealers, a devastating period in French history. A series of paintings created during the Franco-Prussian war with works by Tissot, Sisley and Pissarro provides charming insight into the perception of London as seen through the eyes of visiting French artists and the works arising during their time here.
However, the highlight of the large-scale exhibition comes from the true father of French Impressionism, a mesmerising display of iconic paintings by Monet of the Thames, Charing Cross Bridge and Westminster in a moody, murky blue room at the end of the gallery space. You can forget everything you just saw up to now, for here the apparent lover of fog reveals the ‘Big Smoke’ at its sultry smoggiest and captures the hazy atmosphere over the river, a distinctive characteristic of London.
The Impressionists in London at Tate Britain. 2 November 2017 – 7 May 2018
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