March–May 2024 • London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong

A s the art world prepares to commemorate 150 Years of Impressionism, Sotheby’s embarks upon a year-long celebration of the artists that changed the course of art history. To mark the anniversary, the Musée d’Orsay will faithfully recreate the very first Impressionist exhibition that opened to the public on 15 April, 1874 at 35 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris. This radical show included ground-breaking works by thirty-one artists including Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne. Considered deeply controversial at the time, the works that went on display marked a dramatic shift away from the constraints of the styles taught by the École des Beaux-Arts and allowed this group to investigate new methods of depicting light, form and subject matter. For the first time in 150 years, these works will be reunited and hung together in Paris, the birthplace of Impressionism.

The artists were rejuvenated by their departure from traditional techniques and began to experiment with a fresh outlook on their chosen medium. After several years of conflict in Europe, the key figures of the movement were able to enjoy a period of relative freedom and stability. It is this spirited and radical ethos that will be explored in Paris 1874. Inventing Impressionism, will open on 26 March 2024 at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris and run until 14 July 2024. It will then travel to The National Gallery of Art, Washington where it will be presented from 8 September 2024 to 20 January 20 2025.

Partnering with several voices to illuminate the legacy of the movement such as Willem van Gogh, great-grandnephew of Vincent van Gogh, Charlotte Hellman Cachin, great-granddaughter of Paul Signac and Joachim Pissarro, great-grandson of Camille Pissarro, Sotheby’s London will host a series of auctions, talks and exhibitions that will underpin the anniversary – and our galleries and salerooms around the world will honour the figures that shaped the cultural landscape for more than a century. Many artists, designers, film makers and musicians working today owe a debt of gratitude to the forebears of Impressionism. With experimentation at the heart of their manifesto, this explosion of innovation pushed boundaries and forged new paths of artistic expression.

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Partnering with several voices to illuminate the legacy of the Impressionist movement, Sotheby’s is pleased to present a series of videos celebrating the lasting impact that the Impressionist artists have had on the history of art.

Sotheby's Talks | Impressionism and Its Legacy
Christopher Riopelle, Charlotte Hellman Cachin, Erik Madigan Heck and Helena Newman

In this episode, Sotheby’s Helena Newman is joined by Paul Signac’s great granddaughter Charlotte Hellman Cachin, photographer Erik Madigan Heck, and the National Gallery’s Christopher Riopelle for a conversation about the revolutionary impact made by the Impressionists. These groundbreaking artists – Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pisarro and Sisley – defied academic norms by their use of loose brush strokes, expressive colour, and their emphasis on everyday life. They changed art forever, and their influence can be seen in the work of artists like Seurat, Van Gogh, Derain, the Cubists and the abstract expressionists, through to contemporary fashion designers and photographers. This podcast was recorded at Sotheby’s in London to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Impressionism.

Jackie Wullschläger on 'the Day That Launched the Avant Gardes'

Jackie Wullschläger on 'the Day That Launched the Avant Gardes'

As the Musée d'Orsay reassembles works from the inaugural exhibition, Jackie Wullschläger revisits the controversial birth of Impressionism 150 years ago.

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