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Exhibition of 100 Masterpieces from the Collections of the Musée d'Orsay Opens in Tokyo
Visitors take pictures of paintings during the press day of the "Post Impressionism 115 Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay" exhibition at the National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan, 25 May 2010. The exhibition will present from 26 May to 16 August 2010 more than 100 masterpieces of the later 1880s and the 1890s by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Seurat, among others from the collections of the Musee d'Orsay. EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

TOKYO.- The National Art Center in Tokyo present "Post Impressionism:115 Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay", an exhibition that brings together nearly 100 masterpiece paintings from the legendary collections of the Musée d’ Orsay.

France in the late 19th century was home to a diverse array of painters whose fertile genius was shaped by the artistic innovations wrought by the Impressionists. Throughout the later 1880s and the 1890s, these painters— Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Seurat, among others —used their own modes of expression to produce imaginative works that earned them a place in history as the Post-Impressionists.

That era of Post-Impressionism serves as the focus of this exhibition. Over the years, Post-Impressionism has been portrayed as a movement that formed the antithesis to Impressionism and set the stage for the emergence of avant-garde painting in the 20th century. However, this depiction does not convey the immense diversity and prolificacy that characterized painting in the Post-Impressionist age, an era powered by crisscrossing streams of art springing forth from the cultural treasure house that was fin-de-siècle Paris.

"Post Impressionism" explores the various facets of painting from the late 19th century on into the early 20th century, beginning with the roots in Impressionism.

"Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay" explores the dramatic changes in late 19th century European art through some of the best-known and much-reproduced paintings. Indeed many of these paintings are central to the Musée d’Orsay’s high reputation, both in France and world-wide.

Post-Impressionism announces a break from Impressionism, the revolutionary movement which occurred in France in the second half of the 19th century. By the mid 1880s, artists were experimenting with even more radical ideas. Van Gogh’s intense, richly coloured surfaces communicate emotionally through the artist’s expressive manipulation of paint. Gauguin’s monumental, decorative and often exotic works stand for a new and at times brutal aesthetic directness.

Cézanne’s mastery of the genres of still-life, landscape and portraiture fulfils his own prophetic promise to ‘astonish with an apple!’ These artists encapsulate the challenges to painting and the development of a multi-faceted avant-garde at this time: Pointillism, Neo-Impressionism, Synthetism, Symbolism, School of Pont-Aven, Cloisonnism, the Nabis and Intimism.

In addition to some of the most famous painters, the exhibition includes Symbolist masterworks by artists who are now less known to a general public, but who had a profound impact on their contemporaries. Visitors will find jewel-like domestic scenes and figures, portraits of friends and family members, as well as several large decorative schemes designed for specific interiors. "Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay" reveals cross-influences between artists, and shows the flowering of the modern movements throughout Europe. These fascinating paintings forecast the development of Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism and led also to Abstraction in the 20th century.

The National Art Center in Tokyo | "Post Impressionism:115 Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" | Cezanne | Van Gogh | Gauguin | Seurat |

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May 26, 2010

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