Masterpieces of the French Art of the XVII–XIX Centuries from the Collection of the Hermitage

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The National Museum of Korea presents Masterpieces of the French Art of the XVII–XIX Centuries from the Collection of the Hermitage in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. This exhibition is being held in reciprocation for the exhibition, “Born in the Flames. Korean Ceramics from the National Museum of Korea” held at the State Hermitage Museum in 2016. It examines French art from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. The State Hermitage Museum has the largest collection of French art anywhere in the world outside of France. It is an impressive collection of French artworks that was acquired by the Romanov czars and czarinas including Catherine the Great, Russian aristocrats, and entrepreneurs. It has long been housed in the storied Winter Palace in St Petersburg and is the highlight of the entire European art collection of the Hermitage Museum. Featuring 89 paintings, sculptures, and drawings by French masters including Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Claude Monet, and Henri Rousseau, this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to sense how the Russians in the 18th and 19th centuries appreciated French culture, and to see quintessential French art from that time. 

I. Classicism: Art of the Great Century

France in the 17th century under the rule of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV became a major power in Europe.  This period is called the ‘Great Century.’ It was a time when young French painters returned to France after studying in Italy and breathed new life into French painting under the patronage of the royal family. Classicism, which valued formalism and order, and stability and unity, dominated 17th century French painting. Works by the Le Nain Brothers, who depicted scenes of everyday living of ordinary people realistically, were very popular.

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Nicolas Poussin < Descent from the Cross> 1628~1629

II. Rococo and the Age of Enlightenment

Amidst the political uncertainty and economic depression in the early 18th century following the death of Louis XIV, pictures depicting lavish and elegant outdoor banquet scenes gain in popularity, and painters of the Royal Academy gradually began to employ rich colors and do works about love stories of the Greek and Roman gods. With the spread of enlightenment ideas, genre paintings, still life paintings, and portraits embodying bourgeois values, spurring renewed interest in landscape painting.

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François Boucher < The Crossing over the Bridge> 1730

III. Art in the Age of the Revolution and Romanticism

The first decades of the 19th century saw French art undergo substantial change.  This was the age of the Napoleonic Wars and political revolution. Painters of Neoclassicism created their own painting style and painters of Romanticism sought new subject matters in literature, mythology, and mysterious stories of the East. Landscape painters such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin directed their attention to changing light and movement in the atmosphere, heralding the birth of Impressionism.   

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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres < Portrait of Count Nikolai Guriev> 

IV. Impressionism and the Beyond

From the late 19th century onwards, truly innovative painters who broke completely with classical art style emerged. From 1880 onwards, Monet focused more on expressing colors that change in the moment depending on the lighting conditions. Paul Cézanne sought to reduce nature into essential geometrical shapes. Maurice Denis, Henri Rousseau, and Henri Matisse created a new trend that marked a further break from Impressionism. These artists opened the new world of 20th century art. 

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Claude Monet < Haystack at Giverny> 1886

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Henri Rousseau < View of the Fortifications to the left of the Gate of Vanves> 1909

Useful Info.

  • Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 – Sunday, April 15, 2018   
  • Location: Special Exhibition Gallery Ⅰ∙Ⅱ, National Museum of Korea
  • Parking Facilities: Available
  • Phone : +82-2-2077-9046 (Korean, English) / 9045 (Japanese) / 9047 (Chinese)

[Opening Hours]

  • Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri    10:00~18:00
  • Wed, Sat                  10:00~21:00
  • Sun, Holidays           10:00~19:00

* The museum is open daily.
* Closed on January 1st, Lunar New Year’s Day and Korean Thanksgiving Day (August 15th in lunar calendar)
* Admission is free to the Main Exhibition Hall and the Children's Museum. 

Terms & Conditions

  • This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount. 
  • Reservation and payment should be completed at least 3 days in advance.
  • All sales are final. Refund is not available.
  • Other conditions can be applied.
a nice exhibition in the biggest museum in seoul!!

its nice that the tickets are for free (got it via the activity on facebook), the exhibition was interesting, peaceful and can also get to see the biggest museum in seoul!

Reviewed by freemail4
nice exhibition in the biggest museum in seoul!

its nice that the tickets are for free, the exhibition is interesting, peaceful and also get to see the museum!! very big and fancy :)!!

Reviewed by freemail4
How To Go


137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04383, Republic of Korea
The National Museum of Korea 

[By Subway]

Take Line 4 or the Jungang Line (Munsan-Yongmun) to Ichon Station.
Go out Exit 2, and walk 150m toward Yongsan Family Park.

[By Taxi]

-Show this note to a taxi driver.
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