Anxious to account for contemporary life, Impressionism favoured the representation of human figures in their daily surroundings and captured the "modern" man in his routine activities, both in cities and in the countryside.
Although they did not strive to render scrupulously the physiognomy, costume or habit, the Impressionists nevertheless accounted for the fashions and attitudes of their times. They achieved this through their keenness to consider the portrait as a snapshot of a person in his/her familiar settings, through their ability to renew the genre works from the double point of view of typology and topography and above all through their attention to the "daily metamorphosis of exterior things", as Baudelaire put it.
With their aesthetic positions, the reality of men and women of the years between 1860 and 1880 and their clothes underwent an undisputable transfiguration.
Guy Cogeval, President of the Museums of Orsay and Orangerie
Philippe Thiébaut, chief curator at the Musée d'Orsay
Gary Tinterow, New York, Metropolitan Museum
Gloria Groom, Chicago, Art Institute
Exhibition also presented in: New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, from 19 February to 27 May 2013 Chicago, Art Institute, from 30 June to 22 September 2013
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