videos + essays
A summer day in Paris: Berthe Morisot’s Hunting Butterflies
The subject takes control over the outdoor setting, expressing her independence in spite of limitations.
How to recognize Renoir: The Swing
Renoir wanted to forget everything he knew about how to paint so that he could render light as it really is.
Édouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
Manet turns the tables—or in this case, the bar—on how we view painting.
Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street; Rainy Day
Though called “an Impressionist in name only,” Caillebotte is all about light and movement–just like his peers.
Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – 1884
Seurat sought to bring science to the methods of Impressionism with new, methodical approaches to color.
Mary Cassatt, In the Loge
The subject looks through opera glasses, but she herself is the object of another man’s gaze—not to mention ours.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge
Toulouse-Lautrec invites us into the nocturnal world of the nightclub, where classes mix under the electric lights.
Edgar Degas, At the Races in the Countryside
Degas is off to the races, where class issues are in the foreground.
Auguste Renoir, The Grands Boulevards
A city inhabited: Renoir’s optimistic but sketchy representation of modern life on the new boulevards of Paris.
Edgar Degas, Visit to a Museum
Mary Cassatt, an artist and close friend Degas, is the subject of this painting about the act of seeing.
Édouard Manet, Plum Brandy
The subject of this painting is breaking almost as many taboos as the artist who painted it.
Édouard Manet, In the Conservatory
The greenery surrounding this couple is lush and exotic, but it’s clear that there’s trouble in paradise.