Impressionist Lovers of Gardens

The exhibition Impressionist Gardens in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid analyses the development of paintings of gardens, encompassing not only the great figures of Impressionism but also their forerunners such as Delacroix and Corot and later artists including Klimt, Munch and Sargent. In the 1860s gardens became extremely popular in France due to the introduction of hundreds of plants and “new” species of flowers from Asia, Africa and South America, together with the opening of the royal parks to the public. With their preference for colour, outdoor effects and themes of modern life, the Impressionist painters and their followers were naturally interested in this new phenomenon and turned their attentions towards gardens in search of inspiration. Despite this fact and the enormous appeal of these works, Impressionist paintings of gardens were not widely disseminated outside of France. In addition to important examples of paintings on garden themes by the French Impressionist masters, the present exhibition will include works in this genre by artists from other European countries and the United States in a chronological span that continues up to Post-impressionism and Symbolism.