Manchester Art Gallery

Gathering Plums

Object description

Dappled sunlit scene of a young woman and boy gathering plums in an orchard on the banks of a stream. In the foreground the young woman dressed in white kneels with a basket in her left hand, her right arm outstretched gathering fallen fruit from the ground, three baskets full of fruit to her side in the bottom left corner. Behind her to the right, young boy in shirt sleeves and braces also scours the ground for plums. The stream and banks of trees with bent trunks and sunlit leafy branches are behind them to the left.

Display label

Gallery text panel Impressionists and Edwardians During the 1860s a new fashion emerged in French painting. This responded to a popular trend for experiencing nature in an age of increasing industrial and urban expansion. It also related to fresh developments in optical science, leading to a new stress on the appearance of the real world. French artists worked outdoors together in the countryside, and in Paris a radical new exhibiting group was formed. Its painters tried to capture the fleeting effects of light with rapidly executed strokes of bold naturalistic colour. Shunned by the establishment, their first show was in 1874 and included work by Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Pissarro. They were subsequently given the name Impressionists. Many painters in Britain felt hampered by dominant taste and left to work and study among the French avant garde. Impressionism subsequently influenced many British artists who reached their heyday during the Edwardian period. At home, art colonies were formed in Newlyn and elsewhere in emulation of the rural painting communities of France. In London, the New English Art Club was founded in 1886 as a progressive alternative to the Royal Academy. In emphasising painterliness over narrative and structure, Impressionism also helped shape the Aesthetic Movement.