venue: York art gallery
This summer, York Art Gallery has obtained loans from the National Gallery, the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum for its new exhibition, ‘Painting the Summer: Henri Fantin-Latour’.
Fantin-Latour was born in the French Alps and studied at l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His work was based on the Old Dutch Masters before he adapted his subject matter to juxtapose realism and fantasy. In the shadow of Courbet, he began to experiment with light and delicate modelling to produce an atmosphere with the limpidity and vibration of real air. His traditional approach to depicting flowers was in contrast to the Impressionist style of his contemporaries Manet and Renoir.
The discreet intimacy and warmth of tone in works such as The Two Sisters creates a sense of solitude. Set against dark backgrounds, his subjects are tranquil and sincere.
Caroline Worthington, Curator of Art, explained: “To many, Fantin-Latour is regarded as one of the most important Realist painters of his generation with a particular skill for capturing the beauty of flowers. This exhibition will include some of these brilliant flower pictures but it will also take a look at his portraits and more whimsical, narrative works.”