British collectors were much slower than their French, Russian and American counterparts to perceive the beauty and greatness of Impressionism. Textile magnate Samuel Courtauld was an exception: his enthusiasm for Manet, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley, as well as Degas, Gaugin and Cézanne, led to the formation of one of the greatest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world.
He also founded, in 1930, the Courtauld Institute of Art, to which he bequeathed most of his paintings – now on show in the grand eighteenth-century surroundings of Somerset House – and left a bequest to the National Gallery to assist with the purchase of Impressionists. So here in Trafalgar Square, at the other end of Strand, there is now an excellent group of Impressionists, the result of private bequests, long-term loans and occasional purchase.
In June: More than seventy-five paintings spanning Monet’s long career are exhibited in the National Gallery’s summer exhibition, Monet and Architecture. Bringing together paintings from private and public collections, the exhibition focuses upon the artist’s treatment of architecture, how he used it to explore modernity and allude to specific locations, or simply to enliven a canvas.
In August: Artists working in Britain such as Whistler, Sargent, Sickert and Steer also engaged with aspects of the Impressionist movement. In 1889 Steer and Sickert even staged an exhibition entitled London Impressionists. The final session of the day will be at Tate Britain where several works by these and other artists are displayed.
10.15am at the Courtauld Gallery.
c. 5.30pm at The National Gallery in June.
c. 5.30pm at Tate Britain in August.
Dr Frances Fowle
Senior Curator of French Art at the Scottish National Gallery and Reader in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She is also a Trustee of the Burrell Collection and has curated several major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Scotland, including Impressionism & Scotland, Van Gogh & Britain and in 2014 American Impressionism. Her publications include Monet & French Landscape: Vetheuil & Normandy, Impressionism, Urbanism Environment, Van Gogh’s Twin: The Scottish Art Dealer Alexander Reid and Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880–1910.
Historian, writer and broadcaster. He studied at UCL and the Courtauld and was senior lecturer at Christies Education for many years. He has worked for the Art Fund, Royal Opera House, National Gallery, V&A. He has published on 19th- and early 20th-century painting and on historical vocal recordings. His latest book is Music Wars: 1937–1945.
£205 in June
£190 in August
This includes entry to the Courtauld and the exhibition for the June date, donations in August, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments, lunch at the National Dining Rooms and travel by taxi between the venues.
Maximum 14 participants.
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.