Monday, 15 April 2024

5:00-6:40 pm Paris time

Zoom lecture

The Glorious River:

The Impressionists and the Seine

with Chris Boïcos

Edouard Manet, Argenteuil, 1874, Tournai, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Edouard Manet, Argenteuil, 1874, Tournai, Musée des Beaux-Arts

Monet Vétheuil, Summer, 1880, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Monet Vétheuil, Summer, 1880, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The two paintings traditionally held to have launched the Impressionist style in the summer of 1869 are Monet’s and Renoir’s depictions of La Grenouillère, a popular bathing spot near Chatou, on the river Seine. In the first two decades of Impressionism (1869-1889) the Seine came to play a central role in the development of the new style.


The study of flickering summer light on the surface of the water but also the many human activities on or beside the river: bathing, rowing, sailing, strolling, working, lunching, flirting and open-air painting will become key subjects in the work of Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sisley, Caillebotte and also Georges Seurat among others.


The Seine came to represent a new vision of leisure and happiness, an escape from the crowds, pollution but also the formal conventions of the city, a new territory of freedom for the urban dweller of the industrial era. In our talk we will follow the evolution of the depiction of the river from the first open-air sketches of the Grenouillère to the monumental compositions created by Seurat in the 1880s in Bathing at Asnières and the Sunday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte.

You will receive the Zoom meeting details as soon as you register for the chosen lecture(s)

2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition which opened in Paris on the boulevard des Capucines on 15 April 1874.

The Musée d’Orsay is celebrating this anniversary with a major exhibition, “Paris 1874 – Inventing Impressionism”, from 26 March to 14 July 2024.


Key Impressionist paintings will also be shown in smaller exhibitions all over France.

Paris Art Studies will be devoting all of its lectures in April to this important anniversary.

In addition to the April 2024 lectures, a number of recorded lectures on Impressionism are also available, should you wish to delve deeper into the subject.