This exhibition of work comes from the collection of The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. While the institute is being renovated, a substantial amount of their work has been loaned to the Royal Academy of Arts. They are good art works, very much to my personal taste, and ones that could significantly contribute to a wonderfully twee afternoon gadding about Piccadilly.
These are near-classical masterpieces, seventy in total, by artists including Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Degas, Sisley and Jean-François Millet, Morisot, Renoir, Corot, Rousseau, and others. There are no surprises here, but looking for bombshell bombastics in this exhibition is nothing short of perverse. Instead, we have ballet dancers, flowers and still lifes, landscapes, cityscapes, nudes and self-portraits. It's almost the archetypal exhibition for the Royal Academy to host. It's traditional, historic and somewhat timeless. It's sumptuous in its aspiration to gorgeousness. Follow it up with afternoon tea at Fortnums and a hansom cab to St. James' Park. These are paintings that reflect the exoticism of the past and foreign lands.
From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism is at the Royal Academy of Arts until 23 September.