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ATLANTA, GA. — “Inspiring Impressionism,” the first comprehensive survey to explore the influence of Old Master painters on Impressionist artists, will open at the High Museum of Art October 13. The exhibit will be on view through January 13.

This groundbreaking exhibition will juxtapose works by such artists as Monet, Cézanne and Degas with those by Titian, Rubens and Fragonard to explore the impact that Dutch and Spanish Seventeenth Century Schools and the French Rococo style had on Nineteenth Century French Impressionism.

“Inspiring Impressionism” features 86 works, including paintings and works on paper, drawn from more than 40 museums, some of which have never previously traveled to the United States.

Organized by the Denver Art Museum, “Inspiring Impressionism” will subsequently travel to the Denver Art Museum (February 23 through May 25), and the Seattle Art Museum (June 19 through September 21, 2008).

“Through the juxtaposition of noted works by Old Masters with those of the Impressionists, this exhibition reveals visual evidence of connections that, until now, were confined to art historical papers,” said Michael E. Shapiro, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green Director.

“Inspiring Impressionism” will explore the ways in which Impressionist artists continued a dialogue with their predecessor artists and styles, while simultaneously striving to create the innovative new style depicting modern life that came to be known as “Impressionism.”

Exhibition highlights include traditional landscapes, still lifes and portraits by Old Masters such as Titian and Claude Lorrain that are paired with Impressionist works such as Monet’s “Summer,” 1874, and Renoir’s “Confidences,” 1875.

Groupings like Mary Cassatt’s “Mrs Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading,” 1876, and Jean Honoré Fragonard’s “Reader,” 1776, will explore connections through use of similar artistic technique, composition and subject matter.

Several works by Degas, such as “Studies after two Italian Madonnas” and “Portrait of a Man,” 1868–1870, were copied from Old Masters paintings, reinforcing Degas’ assertion that “No art is less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of the Old Masters.”

“Inspiring Impressionism” is organized by the Denver Art Museum, and co-curated by Timothy Standring, deputy director for collections and programs, and Ann Dumas, a London-based independent scholar, in collaboration with the High Museum of Art and Seattle Art Museum.

An illustrated exhibition catalog will accompany the exhibition.

The museum is at 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E. For information, www.high.org or 404-733-4437.

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