American Impressionism: An exhibition shows how Monet and Degas influenced …

The aim of the show is to delineate, and promote, the generation of young American artists who went to Paris in the 1870s to 1890s and returned – or in some cases stayed – imbued with the lessons and examples of the French masters revolutionising the art scene with their ideas of light and modernity. The  danger is that all it does is reinforce the French view that the rest of the world remained mere  imitators – unless they became, like Mary  Cassatt, honorary Frenchmen.

Going through the first rooms of this show and viewing many of the pictures, you might well feel the French were right. Kick off an  exhibition with Edgar Degas’ unfinished  A Nanny in the Luxembourg Gardens, with its brilliant balance and diminishing perspective, or one of Monet’s imposing Haystacks and set them against John Leslie Breck’s studies of the same subject and there is no doubting

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