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CENTURY OF LIGHT: Masterpieces from Monet, Renoir, Raden Saleh, Juan Luna and more

September 25, 2017 Attraction No Comments Email Email

This November, National Gallery Singapore will present international blockbuster Century of Light, showcasing art from the 19th century. It features two exhibitions that demonstrate the range of painting styles and art movements that developed in Europe during this postEnlightenment period of innovation and change. The exhibitions offer visitors the rare opportunity to see masterpieces from leading European and American museums that have never been shown in the region before, along with major paintings from Southeast Asian collections.

Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay tells the story of Impressionism through the colours that painters used at different stages in their careers. From the deep blacks of Manet’s Spanish-influenced paintings, the green and blue landscapes that Cézanne and Monet painted outdoors, to the soft pinks of Renoir’s classical female figures, the exhibition traces the importance of colour to the Impressionists’ radical reshaping of painting in the 19th century.

The exhibition features over 60 masterpieces from the renowned collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, including key works by Monet, Renoir, Manet, and Cézanne.

It is complemented by Between Worlds: Raden Saleh and Juan Luna, which unites, for the first time, the work of two leading Southeast Asian painters – Indonesian painter Raden Saleh (c.1811-1880) and Filipino artist Juan Luna (1857-1899), both of whom achieved wide acclaim in Europe. This exhibition will be the first major survey to bring together works from collections around the world, featuring paintings from Southeast Asian, European and American museums and private collections.

Visitors will be taken on a comparative journey through the significant phases of each artist’s life and artistic practice, showing the parallels and key differences in their experiences, from their emergence as artists in Java and the Philippines; their subsequent training and participation in artistic and social circles in Europe; and their later return to Southeast Asia. Through over 80 artworks, the exhibition explores the extraordinary life stories of two artists who are considered national heroes in their home countries, as well as the socio-political contexts of Europe and Southeast Asia during the 19th century.

Century of Light will showcase the extraordinary transformation of art in the 19th century as it entered the modern world, and how the works of Southeast Asian artists like Raden Saleh and Juan Luna were inspired by their experiences in Europe – which continue to influence the art history of this region today.

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