This Collection reflects the historical turn from Classicism and academic interpretations of art to Naturalism in both landscape paintings and the truthful study of the human condition. Championed by Jean-François Raffaëlli, chief in this collection is a painting Banlieue de Paris of Asnière that studies a segment of society pushed out of Paris during modernization in the 1880s. Raffaëlli, unlike his Impressionist colleagues, moved to Asnière and became the first to paint the suburbs of Paris and those overlooked by other artists.
His friend Vincent Van Gogh acknowledged his significant contribution that later provided the ground for which the Impressionists would follow. He stated, “But he who paints, like Raffaëlli, the ragpickers of Paris in their own quarter has far more difficulties, and his work is more serious.” The Barbizon painters represented in this collection such as Théodore Rousseau, Henri Joseph Harpignies, Jules Dupré, and Karl Pierre Daubigny were as forceful as Raffaëlli in breaking free to paint landscapes truthfully.
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