From City to Country: Nineteenth-Century French Prints

Dates: August 6 – January 2, 2016
Location: Local Speed

This exhibition features the works of two artists, Maxime Lalanne and Adolphe Appian, whose urban and rural views reflect a taste for landscape etching popular in France during the later 1800s. Not only do their landscapes exhibit a renewed interest in naturalism, but they also document changes to the urban landscape and shifting attitudes toward the native French countryside. No longer are landscapes idealized visions of an ancient time or distant land, populated with heroic figures from the Bible or from history. Instead Lalanne and Appian found beauty in the world around them.

In Paris, urban planners demolished dilapidated neighborhoods in order to build the wide boulevards, expanded park system, and public squares that characterize the city today. Tourism and an expanded rail system carried Parisians out into the suburbs and to more distant provincial towns. Similarly artists, instead of creating imaginary landscapes, ventured out into the countryside to depict scenes observed directly from nature. All of this combined to create a new artistic vision that found value in the native French landscape: in its picturesque medieval neighborhoods, views along rivers and waterways, and rural villages and towns.