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A New Art: Photography and Impressionism

12. February – May 8, 2022

The exhibition examined the new medium photography in its gradual establishment as an autonomous art form, while shedding light on its complex relation to Impressionist painting.

In the 19th century, numerous photographers chose the same motifs as Impressionist painters: the forest of Fontainebleau, the cliffs of Étretat or the modern metropolis of Paris. They, too, studied the changing light, seasons and weather conditions. From its inception, photographers pursued artistic ambitions, as evidenced by their experimentation with composition and perspective, by means of various technical procedures. Until the First World War, the relationship between photography and painting was characterized both by competition and mutual influence. The exhibition examined these interactions from the 1850s to the early 20th century.


"This is the first exhibition on photography at the Museum Barberini. Developed from our core theme of Impressionism, we highlight how the early medium of photography developed into an autonomous art form and how it positioned itself in relation to Impressionist painting."

Ortrud Westheider, Director, Museum Barberini
Barberini Prolog
Website for the exhibition
Materials for children and teenagers

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