View rarely travelled works of art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
The Impressionists are to the art world what Marvel superheroes are to Hollywood: a sure-fire way to draw crowds to a summer show. So, it’s no surprise that interest is high in the National Gallery of Canada’s major summer exhibition, Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection (May 18 to September 9, 2018).
The Ottawa show features 76 paintings from a Copenhagen collection created by Wilhelm and Henny Hansen in the early 20th century, including works by Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Renoir and Sisley. It immerses visitors in 19th-century French life, with hoop-skirted women strolling by a river in Corot’s The Bridge at Mantes and spring bursting forth in a farmhouse garden in Pissarro’s Plum Trees in Blossom, Éragny.
In addition, visitors see paintings by Danish masters whose work is not as well known in North America, including C.W. Eckersberg and Vilhelm Hammershøi. (Many of these—such as Hammershøi’s Interior with Piano and Woman in Black, with its muted palette and cool northern light—have a distinctly Scandinavian sensibility.) The show also features some works from before and after the Impressionist period, such as Delacroix’s 1838 portrait of George Sand and several works by Gauguin.
Camille Pissarro, Plum Trees in Blossom, Éragny, 1894; oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm; Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen. Photo: Anders Sune Berg