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The Macchiaioli: Impressionists of Italy

From 10 April 2013 to 22 July 2013

Breaking the rules of Italian art

From the mid- to late 19th century, a group of painters in Florence became known for rebelling against the rules of Italian academic art. This group was known as the Macchiaioli, and their use of outdoor scenery, light and color has led to comparisons with the French Impressionist movement.

Now, these Italian impressionists are being honored by the Musée de l'Orangerie, a cozy art museum within Paris's beautiful Tuileries Garden. Becoming active around the 1850s, the Macchiaioli came to Tuscany from all parts of Italy in order to revolt against the old conventions of neoclassicism and romanticism. They wanted to breathe new life into Italian painting, and in doing so, they initiated a modern art movement in Italy.

The influence of these artists went beyond painting and extended to film, with Italian filmmakers such as Mauro Bolognini and Luchino Visconti drawing inspiration from them.

The exhibition at the Musée de l'Orangerie will focus on the works of the Macchiaioli from 1850 until 1874. There will also be a series of conferences — as well as a concert featuring Italian music — for visitors who want to learn more and immerse themselves in this movement.