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Athenaeum lecture series will explore Impressionism

At Father Lathuille’ (1879) Edouard Manet
At Father Lathuille’ (1879) Edouard Manet

Art history lecturer Linda Blair will return to the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with a new five-part Tuesday evening series, “Impressionism Plus Two,” at 1008 Wall St., La Jolla.

The lectures will explore the historic context, personalities, theories and techniques of Impressionism, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26. (No lecture Feb. 12.)

Impressionism was the product of a handful of gifted, 19th-century French artists that lasted, at most, two decades. This transformative movement, according to Blair, was both epilogue and prologue: epilogue because it ended the traditional art of the previous four centuries, and prologue because it opened the floodgates for 20th century art.

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Edouard Manet; ‘Branches with almond blossom’ (1890) Vincent Van Gogh
Edouard Manet; ‘Branches with almond blossom’ (1890) Vincent Van Gogh

The fatigue of traditional art — art born in the workshops of Florence 400 years before — forced these innovative and skilled artists to invent new ways of rendering reality and to develop a new visual acuity.

The series will focus on four of the most revolutionary artists of 19th-century France: Impressionists Edouard Manet and Claude Monet, and Post-Impressionists Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne.

The series will conclude with a little-known anecdote relating the American role in rescuing these avant-garde artists from failure and ignominy, and insight into the allure and appeal of Impressionism to 19th century Americans.

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For tickets, call (858) 454-5872 or visit www.ljathenaeum.org/lectures The series costs $50 members/$75 nonmembers. Individual lectures are $12 members/$17 nonmembers.

— From Athenaeum reports


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