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French Moderns

Monet to Matisse 1850 - 1950

Rich Aste, Lisa Small, Cora Michael

ISBN: 97815510724
Size: 280 x 254 mm / 9½ x 11 in.
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 144
Images: 100

UK £40 / US $55.00


  • Features well-known works by Bonnard, Caillebotte, Cézanne, Chagall, Degas, Matisse, Monet, Redon, Renoir, and Rodin
  • Accompanies traveling exhibition at:

    McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas: February 22–May 21, 2017

    TK:  June 16–October 8, 2017

    Baker Museum, Naples, Florida:  November 3, 2017–January 28, 2018

    TK:  February 23–May 20, 2018

    Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba, Canada: June 15–September 9, 2018

    Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa: October 5, 2018–January 6, 2019


The years between the Revolution of 1848 and the end of World War II were characterized by profound and sweeping social, intellectual, and political change in France. The art world, centered in Paris, also witnessed remarkable transformations as artists experimented with bold, expressive styles—Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism—that emerged in and around the French capital during this period and soon influenced the Western artistic canon.

This splendid volume featuring fifty-nine works from the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned European collection celebrates France as the artistic center of international modernism from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Ranging widely in scale, subject matter, and style, these paintings and sculptures were produced by the era’s leading artists, both French-born and others who studied and worked in France.

The forty-seven artists represented include Bonnard, Caillebotte, Cézanne, Chagall, Degas, Matisse, Monet, Redon, Renoir, and Rodin. Organized into four sections, the works in this book exemplify the successive avant-garde movements that defined modern art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, tracing a shift from naturalism to the rise of abstraction. The overarching themes of  “Landscape,” “Still Life,” “Portraits and Figures,” and “The Nude,” invite the reader to find illuminating comparisons and contrasts across time and mediums.

Published to accompany a major traveling exhibition of the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, this elegantly designed book presents a superb selection of French modern works from the Brooklyn Museum’s outstanding European collection.


Richard Aste, now Director of the McNay Art Museum, was formerly the Brooklyn Museum’s Curator of European Art.

Cora Michael is Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum

Lisa Small is Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum.