The Philadelphia Museum of Art's unveils The Impressionist Eye

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's latest exhibition dives deep into the art of Impressionism with rarely seen works. The exhibition is titled The Impressionist Eye and it shines a spotlight on the groundbreaking works of the 19th-century art form and the artists who brought it to life.

"Artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Cara Auguste Renoir, Edward Degas, our own Mary Cassatt who first spent a great deal of her younger years here in Philadelphia," says Jennifer Thompson, curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Impressionists popularized a style of painting that was done quickly. "They wanted their works to have a sense of immediacy to convey a fleeting sunset or a ballet performance," says Thompson.

The show features 90 works made up almost entirely from the museum's permanent collection.

"The exhibition offers a chance to look at their sketch books, at some of their pastels and water colors as well as their sculpture."

It's also a rare chance to see materials that haven't been on view for more than 20 years.

"About 25 of those are works on paper, which are very rare. They are pieces that are ordinarily kept in storage," says Thompson.

This includes the 1888 drawing Haystacks in Provence by Vincent Van Gogh.

"It gives us an extraordinary opportunity to see this artist that we think of a as a painter... really turning his hand to working with ink and pencil," says Thompson.

Dancer Resting by Edward Degas is an audience favorite. "We have a number of works by Degas working in pastel," Thompson says, "There are some great views of ballerinas... that are extraordinary."

The exhibit also features a freshly restored painting by Claude Monet. It's of an island called the Vétheuil, which is just outside of Paris.

"It's a wonderful sort of summer afternoon sun which you can get a sense of the heat of the haze," Thompson says. "I hope that when visitors see this exhibition, they'll come away with a greater appreciation of extraordinary talents of these artists."

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The Impressionist Eye - on view thru August 18th
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-763-8100
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