Impressionism and Beyond: Urban Life and Escape
Gallery 255 features two major themes of late 19th-century French painting. In contrast to the luminous landscapes of Monet, Pissarro, Signac, and Sisley, the works of artists like Degas (Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, original model 1878–81, cast after 1921) explored the realities of the modern urban experience in Paris, looking at the rapidly evolving world of the city and its inhabitants. Other artists sought an escape from the instability and expectations of urban life. Many found inspiration far from the modern boulevards of Paris, whether in the smaller towns and countryside of France or further beyond, in works like Gauguin’s Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897–98). Additional works include highlights from the European collection: Munch’s Summer Night’s Dream (The Voice) (1893), Redon’s L’Ange du Destin (The Angel of Destiny) (1899), and two Van Gogh portraits—Postman Joseph Roulin (1888) and Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La Berceuse) (1889).