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Scenic Impressions Exhibition Closes

March 25

In its presentation of nearly 50 paintings created from 1880 to 1940—mainly landscapes and genre scenes—Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection traces the journey of Impressionism and related avant-garde styles of painting from their origins in 19th-century France to the American South.

The radical changes wrought by the rise of the salon system in 19th-century Europe provoked an interesting response from painters in the American South. Painterly trends emanating from the French towns of Barbizon and Giverny emphasized the subtle textures of nature through warm color and broken brush strokes. Artists’ subject matter tended to represent a prosperous middle class at play, with the subtle suggestion that painting could indeed be art for art’s sake rather than deriving its subjects from history or mythology. Such enchanting French paintings introduced a visual vocabulary of style, color, and content that was soon successfully adopted by American artists. Many painters in the South took up the stylistics of Tonalism, Impressionism, and naturalism to create equally picturesque works that celebrated the Southern scene as an exotic other, a locale offering refuge from an increasingly mechanized urban environment.

This exhibition closes March 25, 2018.


March 25
Event Category:


Telfair Academy
121 Barnard St
Savannah, 31401 United States