The Kunsthaus Zürich presents the first exhibition in Switzerland to explore the tensions in French painting between ‘academic art’ and new approaches that sought liberation from its constraints. As Academism’s influence waned during the 19th century, artists turned instead to the pursuit of individual impulses. Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, ‘plein air’ painting and Impressionism vied for the favour of audiences. With more than 100 paintings, the exhibition brings together various currents of 19th-century French painting, revealing not just stark contradictions but also commonalities. This nuanced perspective on a key period in art history is an especially useful corrective to perceptions in the German-speaking world, where the reception afforded to French art has hitherto been rather one-sided. Find out more about the ‘Praised and Ridiculed’ exhibition from the Kunsthaus Zürich’s website.
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