Modernism is a philosophical movement that came about from the new economic, political and social environment that was emerging in Western society in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Due to a growing industrialized world and rapidly growing cities, cultural trends and changes could be felt everywhere, including architecture, philosophy, religious faith, sciences, arts and every day activities. France was considered to play a major role in Modernism as many great artists of that era flocked to Paris to express their art. The ground-breaking exhibit of ‘Degas To Picasso: Creating Modernism In France’ shows how this amazing part of history played out in the art world.

The exhibit featured over 100 works spanning from 1800 to the mid-twentieth century by such great artists as Degas, Monet, Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso. You can witness the transformation from Romanticism by artists like Gericault, Delacroix and Ingres, into the dramatic styles presented by Cezanne and Van Gogh, to Cubism by pioneers like Braque and Picasso. The exhibition was held at the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford from February 10, 2017 until May 7, 2017. Although the exhibit is now over, here are some of the artists that were featured and how their work affected the rise of Modernism in France:

Edgar Degas

Born in France to a moderately rich family, Degas was known for his sculptures, drawings, prints, and paintings. Many think of him as one of the founders of Impressionism, but he preferred to be known as a realist. He was a master at depicting movement with more than half of his paintings and drawings are of dancers.

The Dance Class
The Dance Class by Edgar Degas

Claude Monet

Born in Paris, France in 1840, Monet was also considered a founder of the Impressionist movement in France. He’s most known for amazing landscape paintings. His ambition of catching the beauty of the countryside led him same scene during different times of the day and year.

Woman with a Parasol
Woman with a Parasol by Claude Monet

Paul Cezanne

This French artist is considered by many to have built the bridge that takes Impressionism into 20th century’s new artistic style of Cubism. His paintings show how intensely the artist studied his subjects by using small brushstrokes that build up.

Fruit and Jug on a Table
Fruit and Jug on a Table by Paul Cezanne

Vincent Van Gogh

Born in the Netherlands in 1953, Van Gogh is one of the most famous and influential artists in the world. His paintings range from still-lifes and landscapes, to portraits and self-portraits featuring bold colors and dramatic and expressive brushwork that inspired modern art. He moved to Paris I 1886 where he experimented with Japanese art and adopted a brighter palette to his works.

Still Life Vase with Twelve Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

Pablo Picasso

Although he was born in Spain on April 1973, Picasso spent most of his life in France. As one of the most influential artist of the 1900’s, Picasso was a sculptor, painter, ceramicist, printmaker, poet, stage designer and playwright. Credited with being one of the founders of the Cubist movement, he also helped invent the collage. The Cubism movement changed the European art world, affecting not only sculptures and paintings, but also music, literature and architecture.

The Weeping Woman
The Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso

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