Just in

After Impressionism

Yesterday I went to the After Impressionism exhibition at the National Gallery and was underwhelmed.

Perhaps this was caused by waiting in the rain in the entrance queue; or the fact that I knew virtually every picture so the impact was lost; perhaps I could not see for whom the exhibition had been designed; perhaps it was the rude way that on four occasions the gallery staff ordered me to unfurl my rather tiny torpedo-style umbrella.

There can be no doubt as to the quality on view.

Every post-Impressionist artist was there: Gauguin, Dégas, Manet – and crucially Cézanne, the bridge between the Impressionists and the Modernists Matisse, Braque, Picasso and Klimt – but why?

In 1910 and in 1912 Roger Fry and Clive Bell curated the post-Impressionist exhibitions at the Grafton Gallery to which the crowds flocked.

Goodbye the closed Victorian era – welcome innovative European art.

Although it was to some relief that this exhibition was not crowded the same impact was not there.

It was rather like going to a performance of Beethoven’ Fifth Symphony – or seeing Monet’s Water Lilies – for the 20th time. You just knew both too well.

Avatar photo
About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts