Most of the paintings displayed in this room are examples of ‘Post-Impressionism’. The term was first coined in 1910 by the British critic Roger Fry when he included works by the French artists Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and others in an exhibition entitled Manet and the Post-Impressionists at the progressive Grafton Galleries in London. The public was outraged by the modern art on show, which was described by the press as the work of ‘practical jokers’.
According to Fry, the Post-Impressionists were united by their emphasis on the inner world of ideas, feelings and subjectivity, rather than outer reality. This change in the artists’ work occurred around the mid- to late 1880s: while Cézanne developed a more analytical response to nature, Gauguin began to emphasise the importance of painting from the imagination. Van Gogh, meanwhile, painted out of doors, but developed a highly expressive style, using colour to explore his own, deep-seated emotions. By the early 1890s even mainstream Impressionist artists such Claude Monet began to adopt a more personal response to the natural world.
Frances Fowle, Curator of French art at the National Galleries of Scotland, introduces our display of Impressionism and Post Impressionism at the Scottish National Gallery. This tour gives you an insight into some of the Impressionist and Post Impressionist collection highlights.
We are currently working on improving our galleries. During this time some rooms will be closed and some facilities will be temporarily removed. There will be limited disabled access to some areas.
The Scottish National Gallery can be found just off Princes Street in the city centre.
In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.
Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.
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