Several decades before Ernest Hemingway came to Paris to spend some quality
time with Gertrude Stein near the Jardin de Luxembourg; there were a
multitude of other American artists inspired by the City of Lights. Paris
was, without a doubt, the art capital of the 19th century, and as Henry
James remarked in 1887 "when to-day we look for 'American art' we find it
mainly in Paris." Staff members at The Metropolitan Museum of Art feel the
same way, and they have organized this lovely online exhibit to complement a
fine in situ exhibit on the visual arts produced by artists such as Mary
Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent during their time there.
Visitors can make their way through all eight galleries, and they can also
use a zoom feature to pick up on various levels of detail within each work.
[KMG - review by Max Grinnell]
In the late 19th century, American artists by the hundreds—including
such luminaries as James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Mary
Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer—were irresistibly drawn to
Paris, the world's new art capital. By studying with leading masters
and showing their work in Paris, these artists aimed to attract
patronage from American collectors who had begun to buy contemporary
French art in earnest soon after the end of the American Civil War.
Paris inspired decisive changes in American painters' styles and
subjects, and stimulated the creation of more sophisticated art
schools and higher professional standards back in the United States.
This landmark exhibition features some 100 oil paintings by 37
Americans whose accomplishments proclaim the truth of what Henry James
observed in 1887: "It sounds like a paradox, but it is a very simple
truth, that when to-day we look for 'American art' we find it mainly
in Paris. When we find it out of Paris, we at least find a great deal
of Paris in it." Representing the breadth of artistic activity in
Paris, the exhibition includes painters who were aligned with vanguard
tendencies—particularly what came to be known as Impressionism—as well
as those who espoused the academic principles that many American