November 3, 2016 - April 2, 2017
From the beginning of November, a newly arranged collection showcasing the Museum's Realist paintings will be on show in the Gallery's ground floor rooms. This new exhibition will trace the course of the development of Realism both locally and nationally over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Over the course of the nineteenth century, in response to the challenges posed by the ever more rigorous comparisons made between painting and the photographic image, artists began to turn their attention to reality, in all its manifestations, in search of new fonts of inspiration. The most favoured subjects became landscapes, scenes from daily life, and portraits; it was in these areas that new modes of direct representation of reality developed in an effort to make the image ever more immediate and 'instantaneous'. Leading this process of artistic renewal was En Plein Air painting, while other techniques for representing reality developed in the wake of scientific discoveries made during the late nineteenth century. Divisionism and symbolism made their own contribution to this new trajectory, carrying the principles of realism far beyond the threshold of the twentieth century.