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Past exhibition

Impressionist Decorations: The Birth of Modern Decor

This exhibition has been postponed indefinitely 

(Former dates: 11 September 2021 – 9 January 2022)

Open the door to a world of Impressionist interiors where artists such as Monet, Renoir and Morisot painted canvases, panels and objects to decorate people’s homes rather than the walls of galleries. See these domestic masterpieces in the first-ever exhibition of decorative arts by the Impressionist painters.

Over a 50-year period, from the 1860s to the 1920s, the Impressionists were decorating interiors with paintings and painted objects; creating bright and cheerful spaces that brought to life city apartments and rural homes.   

They sought to bring the outdoors inside, turning their directly observed landscapes and spontaneous scenes of modern life into paintings and decorated objects for the home.

This was a new kind of art, one that started in France where – as young, bohemian artists – the Impressionists decorated cafés, inns, and the homes of early patrons to make a living. However, this work soon became crucial in shaping the artists' careers: pushing them to experiment with new shapes, formats and techniques that resulted in new, daringly innovative compositions.

Discover the Impressionists’ decorative works through over eighty paintings, ornamental panels and a selection of rarely seen objects by leading figures including: Manet, Monet, Pissarro and Renoir. Take in Caillebotte’s stunning painted doors made to adorn his house at Petit-Gennevilliers; Morisot’s enchanting salon panels for her Parisian apartment; and Monet’s celebrated 'Water Lilies' paintings that link to his huge, panoramic 'Water Lilies' panels. These are artworks that completely renewed the genre of decorative painting. 

Exhibition organised by the National Gallery and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris.

Image above: Detail from Claude Monet, 'Water Lilies', 1908 © Dallas Museum of Art