New impressionist masterpiece at Musée d’Orsay ahead of celebration marking 150 years of Impressionism in 2024

The Paris Musée d’Orsay is celebrating the acquisition of a masterpiece by French impressionist painter Caillebotte. The addition was also an opportunity to announce next year’s celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the impressionism movement.

France’s Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, announced the entry into the national collection of the masterpiece by the painter Gustave Caillebotte “Partie de Bateau”, a national treasure acquired thanks to the exclusive sponsorship of LVMH. Partie de bateau, also known as “Canotier au chapeau haut de forme” (“boater with a top hat”), is one of the masterpieces of Caillebotte and of the history of Impressionism.

This national treasure is now on display at the Impressionist Gallery of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and will be a permanent feature of the museum’s extensive collection. Around the world, the Musée d’Orsay remains a reference for all the lovers of the arts in the 19th century and particularly the impressionist movement. The museum has hundreds of work -including many world-famous paintings- of impressionist and post-impressionist movements. Among the collection, the museum has 33 painting from Manet, 39 from Degas, 45 from Pissaro, 82 from Renoir and 88 from Monet. By comparison, the Caillebotte catalogue is rather small with only a dozen paintings…

New impressionist masterpiece at Musée d'Orsay ahead of celebration marking 150 years of Impressionism in 2024
New acquisition of Gustave Caillebotte masterpiece for Paris Orsay Museum : Partie de bateau, around 1877-1878, (Image: Paris, musée d’Orsay/ Press file Ministère de la Culture)

A great celebration of Impressionism in the making for 2024

The Minister of Culture and the Musée d’Orsay have already announced a national celebration of this masterpiece in relation to the 150th anniversary of Impressionism. At the request of Rima Abdul Malak and for the first time, this national treasure will be exhibited in several locations across the French territory to let the widest possible audience view it.

A major Caillebotte exhibition will also be organised at the Musée d’Orsay in the autumn 2024. The major exhibition will receive exceptional works on loan from the greatest American museums. This project will also be the occasion for a renewed presentation of the works from Gustave Caillebotte’s collection bequeathed to the State within the museum’s permanent exhibition and several publications.

Beyond this “national tour” of Gustave Caillebotte’s painting, the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionism exhibition (1874) will provide a wider opportunity to promote this movement which, born in France, conquered the world and met with immense popular success. Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay’s impressionist collection will also travel across France and be exhibited in some twenty museums throughout the country.

One of the most active regions in the promotion of the Impressionism legacy is the Normandy region, in France northwest. Normandy is considered the cradle of the movement and has been organising for many years an Impressionism festival under the brand “Normandie Impressionniste”.

New impressionist masterpiece at Musée d'Orsay ahead of celebration marking 150 years of Impressionism in 2024
Honfleur in Normandy is considered one of the cradles of French Impressionism (Photo: LC/Cleverdis)

Normandy a centre of tourist discoveries around Impressionism

As an example, last year, Normandie Impressioniste already celebrated the first impressionist painting, “Impression Soleil Levant” (Impression of rising sun”) from painter Monet with the event “the Normandy Impressionist Nights”. Taking place at the end of August 2022, the event brought together nearly 40,000 people who were attracted by the artistic and festive proposals.

Normandie Tourism, the tourism marketing agency, is already preparing its next festival, scheduled to run from March to September 2024, to mark the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. In the continuity of the momentum initiated during the Normandy Impressionist Nights, the festival invites the actors of the Normandy territory to celebrate in 2024 the modernity of the impressionist vision.

The festival will aim to offer a series of major exhibitions alongside several “Normandy Impressionist Nights” and key events highlighting a variety of artistic disciplines (dance, music, theatre, opera, cinema, circus, etc.). The theme chosen for this future edition is “The spirit of invention”, a characteristic trait of the Impressionists’ vision.

Normandy and the Ile de France regions are indeed the world’s largest concentration of destinations linked to impressionism. Both regions cultivate a range of houses where impressionist painters used to live -such as the extraordinary Monet house and garden in Giverny or Argenteuil, Auvers for Van Gogh, Pontoise for Pissaro or Honfleur for Boudin. Many villages along the Seine or Marne rivers, squares, cafes as well as museums recall the impressionist era. According to the Normandy Tourism agency, some 2 million travellers expressed in 2022 an interest for Impressionism.

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