Room 1: After Impressionism

The Salon—a juried system of exhibitions and prizes run by the ultra-conservative Academy of Fine Arts—dictated artistic careers in 19th-century France. The Impressionists were one group who broke free from the restrictions of the Salon, setting up a series of independent exhibitions from 1874 to 1886.

The Impressionists painted in a spontaneous and luminous style using a palette based on pure or unmixed colour. They often worked out-of-doors and chose subjects from everyday life which at the time was considered shocking.

After 1886, Claude Monet painted larger and more decorative works and began to work in series. Other Impressionists such as Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley reworked their earlier styles with a new freedom.