Light Impressions

Artwork On display

In later 19th-century Europe, many artists reacted to rapid technological and societal change with a renewed interest in the natural world.

Artists such as John Brett (1831–1902) captured the effects and emotive qualities of light. His meticulous depiction of sunlight on the sea built on ideas promoted by the Pre-Raphaelites earlier in the century.

With the group of French artists known as Impressionists, light became a subject in itself. Claude Monet (1840–1926), Camille Pissarro (1830–1930), Alfred Sisley (1839–1899) and others ventured into the countryside to paint outdoors. These artists worked in nature to record the fleeting effects of light, atmosphere and movement, finishing their works outside. This was very unusual at a time when most landscape artists just made sketches and returned to their studios to develop them into carefully finished works. The Impressionists broke from illusionistic traditions, emphasising the paint on the surface of the canvas, flattening perspective and cropping their compositions in striking ways.





A curator's guide to Light: Works from Tate's Collection at ACMI | Matthew Watts & Laura Castagnini

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Not in ACMI's collection

Previously on display

13 November 2022

ACMI: Gallery 4

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Light → Light Impressions


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