The newly announced exhibition will go on display at the gallery from the 11th September 2021.


Edouard Manet, Jeanne (Spring), 1881, oil on canvas© The J Paul Getty Museum; Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.  

The National Gallery will bring together three of Monet’s paintings of water lilies in a new exhibition focusing on decorative arts by the Impressionist painters.

Impressionist Decorations: The Birth of Modern Decor will reveal how the Impressionists were interested in painting as decoration throughout their careers and made decorative panels, painted doors, tapestries, ceramics, fans, and in one instance, even a mirror frame. 

By focusing on the  on the intimate and elegant objects and the painted interiors that the Impressionists thought should enhance modern life, the exhibition will reveal a little-known aspect of the Impressionists’ work.

The exhibition has been organised by the National Gallery and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris and will cover five decades of Impressionism, starting in the 1860s, when these young, striving artists started to engage with ornamental projects, until the 1920s – a journey through which they completely renewed the genre of decorative painting, while revitalising their art. 

Impressionist Decorations: The Birth of Modern Decor will feature more than eighty paintings and objects by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Morisot, Degas, Cassatt, Cézanne, Manet and Caillebotte, borrowed from major collections including the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford.

The exhibition will also be seen at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (13 April – 1 August 2021).  It is curated by Anne Robbins, Associate Curator of Post 1800 Paintings at the National Gallery; and Sylvie Patry, Director of Conservation and Collections at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; with Christopher Riopelle, The Neil Westreich Curator of Post 1800 Paintings at the National Gallery. 

Impressionist Decorations: The Birth of Modern Decor will go on display at the National Gallery from the 11th September 2021 until 9th January 2022.