Thursday, November 23
Укр Eng
Log In Register
PoliticsNeighboursEconomicsSocietyCultureHistoryOpinionsArchivePhoto Gallery
14 September, 2012

White on White

Normandy in Painting: an art history guide and escape from an industrial estate

For the first time, it will be possible to see a collection of paintings, dedicated to Normandy, by the most noted realists, romantics, post-impressionists and impressionists, in Ukraine. The exhibition features Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Théodore Géricault, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Raoul Dufy, Auguste Renoir, Charles Pecrus and many others.

The collection, titled Normandy in Painting/Art in Normandy was compiled over a period of ten years. Today, it is composed of more than 120 paintings, dated 1750-1950. Permanently displayed at a former convent, the Abbaye aux Dames, which is also home to the Regional Council of Lower Normandy, the collection is successfully travelling the world. The directorate chose 57 paintings to display in Ukraine. Before the collection reached Kyiv, art lovers had the opportunity to see it in Lviv, where it caused quite a stir.

In fact, the show serves as a guide of sorts, presenting a history of 19th century art. Despite various genres, themes, schools and tones of the paintings, their geographic roots have a visible impact on the ambience of the show where soft, subdued colours prevail. The various shades of grey do not depress the viewer, while the white does not have its typical light and lofty effect. That’s the way it is – the ever changing nature of Northern France. One will not find the sun in its pure form here – it’s hidden in the gloomy silhouette of a boat on the coast of La Manche or enfolded in thick clouds by Jules Achille Noël with his demonic fusion of dark grey and yellow. Or a ray of sunshine falls on Jacques Villon’s aristocratic vacationers in Under the Tent on the Beach, Blonville. People, boats, cliffs, the sea and elements of everyday rural life – all of this is infused with a sense of cloudy serenity. What could possibly be better for the Kyiv audience, weary of the summer heat?

According to the exhibition’s organizers, 19th century artists fled to Normandy from the encroachment of industry in big cities, searching for harmony with nature and new ideas. Normandy turned into an epicentre of new major trends in the art of that epoch and eventually led to the arrival of 20th century modernism.

Related publications:

  • November 21, the 4th anniversary of the Maidan, begins in Kyiv with a prayer for the Heavenly Hundred, the protesters killed at Instytutska Street in February 2014, and the victims of earlier shootings, police violence throughout the revolution
    day before yesterday, Stanislav Kozliuk
  • Ukraine’s Parliament has started to change the electoral system. Will they be able to finish the job and what will change if the reform goes through?
    20 November, Andriy Holub
  • What political ambitions do Yulia Tymoshenko and her party hope to achieve before the 2019 elections?
    20 November, Roman Malko
  • According to recent sociological studies, there have been no significant changes in the mood of Ukrainians over the last three years. The scarcity of demonstrations cannot be attributed to loyalty to the current government, but rather to the fact that the opposition is equally far away from understanding what the citizens need and how these needs can be met
    20 November, Andriy Holub
  • Mostly discussed for its regulation of the language of instruction in schools, the new law offers more overlooked important innovations intended to change the quality and the content of education in Ukraine
    7 November, Hanna Trehub
  • The new law on the reintegration of the occupied parts of the Donbas qualifies them as such and names Russia as the occupier. Yet, it does not launch the process of deoccupation or change the mechanism envisaged in the Minsk Agreement
    20 October, Maksym Vikhrov
Copyright © Ukrainian Week LLC. All rights reserved.
Reprint or other commercial use of the site materials is allowed only with the editorial board permission.
Legal disclaimer Accessibility Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us