From: Denver Art Museum Limited Edition: 20 Exhibition:Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl Dimensions: 30" x 89" (76 cm x 226 cm) Hanging Hardware Included
Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism featured more than 80 paintings by 37 female artists who flocked to Paris from 1850 to 1900. Paris was the epicenter of great social, cultural, and artistic change. Women painters from across Europe and America landed there with resolute plans to become professional painters. The exhibition sheds light on this historical period when women like Rosa Bonheur, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Marie Bracquemond took their place in the art world.
Women faced challenges that male artists didn’t. Women were not free to stroll the streets unchaperoned and visit the cafes and other public venues where men gathered for artistic discourse. It was considered undignified and improper for women to draw from a live nude model, an exercise essential for painting the most prestigious mythological or biblical paintings. They could apply to the Paris Salon, but acceptance among women was very limited. They persevered by forming the Union of Women Painters and Sculptors to create more opportunities for women artists to study in Paris. They also participated in the Impressionist Exhibitions (held between 1874 and 1886) and the five World’s Fairs held in Paris in this formative time. It wasn’t until the end of the period, in 1897, that women were permitted to attend the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts).
Since women were required to live more private lives, their subjects were often intimate and domestic scenes with family or friends, still lifes and portraits. Bracquemond’sThree Women with Parasols featured three women dressed in contemporary couture with figure-forming bodices and full skirts. The play of light and bright palate is characteristic of the Impressionist techniques that the artist’s husband came to dislike. With distinct brushstrokes and purposeful use of contrasting warm and cold tones, Bracquemond added her unique signature to the movement.
The banner used to promote the exhibition features the central portion of Three Women with Parasols with a wintergreen band superimposed with a historical street map of Paris at the bottom. “Her” and “Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism” appear in white (Amy?) letters, and “PARIS” and “THROUGH JANUARY 14” in pink letters. The Denver Art Museum logo appears in white below. The back side of the banner contains a larger section of the Paris map with white and pink text similar to the front side.
This banner was displayed around the Denver area between October 22, 2017 and January 15, 2018. The exhibition traveled from Denver to the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and then to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
About the Artist
Marie Bracquemond (1840-1916) was a French painter from modest beginnings who studied art under traditionalist, Jean-August-Dominique Ingres. She took advantage of the opportunity to paint at the Louvre when the museum encouraged women to become copyists. She was one of four female artists to exhibit in the Impressionist Exhibitions in 1879, 1880, and 1886. It was at the Louvre that Bracquemond met her husband, Felix, who was very fond of her earlier, Ingres-influenced work, but not of her later Impressionist paintings. His dogged disapproval eventually led her to stop painting in 1990. They had one son, Pierre. She is considered one of the most important female Impressionist artists of her time.