Programme de Recherche International
Paris Île de France
Although Canadian artists had been travelling and studying in France since the late 1870s, and had thus been exposed to Impressionism from the movement’s inception, conservative tastes continued to prevail in Canada, governing the local art market until the turn of the 20th century. In 1892 however, Montreal gallery and art dealer W. Scott & Sons inaugurated the first exhibition of French Impressionism in Canada, on loan from the collection of Paul Durand-Ruel. In 1895, the Art Association of Montreal opened The Eighteenth Loan Exhibition of Paintings, highlighting works from prominent private collections across Montreal. Among Old Master and Hague School paintings, works by Cassatt, Renoir, Pissarro, and Monet demonstrated the evolving tastes of local collectors. These exhibitions provided the Montreal public an opportunity to view the works of the renowned French Impressionists while Canadian artists, returning home from their sojourns abroad, began to apply Impressionist principles to local subjects. The public engagement afforded by the Art Association of Montreal exhibition and others like it, predicated on the availability of French Impressionist works in local collections, therefore played a key role in creating an artistic market and cultural climate that would grow to welcome and encourage the development of Canadian Impressionism.