Paris exhibition seeks out the Italian Monet

PARIS: Years before Impressionism began, a similar style of painting capturing colorful impressions of light may have existed in Italy.

This is what’s being suggested in a new exhibition at Paris’ Orangery museum, one examining the possible Italian prehistory of the influential Paris-based movement that revolutionized the art practice of the 1870s.

The show displays works from 1860s Florence with vivid, dappled light – in a strikingly similar way to famed painters like Claude Monet.

The movement was called “Macchiaioli,” after the Italian for “stain,” to evoke splashes of light in the painting.

“It’s practically unknown around the world,” said curator Beatrice Avanzi. “But like the Impressionists, they used the bright light of open air, contrasting shadows, and they wished to rebel against academic painting by going out and in the open air.”

“The Macchiaioli: The Italian Impressionists?” runs at Paris’ Orangery museum through July 22.

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