Passport to Paris at the Denver Art Museum

The Beach at Trouville by Claude Monet

The Beach at Trouville by Claude Monet

THIS JUST IN as of February 5:  The Nature as Muse:  Impressionist Landscapes from the Frederic C. Hamilton Collection of DAM has been extended through March 24.

Allez vite, vite, vite! Go fast! Only about ten days remain for you to see the magnificent Passport to Paris exhibition at the Denver Art Museum (DAM). I went earlier in the month and it felt like I was transported to Paree for an hour and a half of sheer delight. Truly my heart sang as I wended my way through the suite of three exhibitions that make up this show, a smartly-chosen trifecta that focuses on French art from the late 1600s to the early 1900s. From the grand works executed during the reign of Louis XIV through the more well known paintings of Poussin, Boucher, Pissarro, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and other greats, here French culture and society are revealed to the visitor in one of the most effective manners I’ve ever seen. As you saunter through the galleries that make up this show, it’s easy to understand how Paris became the center of culture and the tastemaker for all of Europe.

Gallery View of Court to Café

Gallery View of Court to Café

Gallery View of Court to Café

Gallery View of Court to Café

Another Stunning View of Court to Café

Another Stunning View of Court to Café

I had planned to spend my biggest chunk of time—with my audio device in hand—at Court to Café, the crown jewel of this exhibition which features fifty masterpiece paintings spanning three centuries. I could have allotted an equal amount of time in the section Nature as Muse:  Impressionist Landscapes from the Frederic C. Hamilton Collection of DAM where thirty-six stunning works from celebrated impressionist artists are on view in full splendor, twenty-two of which have recently been bequeathed to the museum from this Denver-based philanthropist, the largest gift ever given to the museum. Here, amid these glorious plein air paintings of the nineteenth century, I felt like I was strolling around the Musée d’Orsay. Mais non, je suis ici à Denver au pied des Montagnes Rocheuses. Sadly, I had to scamper through the third part of this trilogy, the Drawing Room:  An Intimate Look at French Drawings that shows the forethought and finesse that’s goes into such splendid works. Plan to spend at least a total of two hours at Passport to Paris, so that you can savor each phase of this exhibition as you would un grand crème in a crowded café.

The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room

Reclining Lion by Pierre Andrieu

Reclining Lion by Pierre Andrieu

Be sure to leave time for the Passport to Paris boutique, a brightly-colored showcase where you can easily pick up a market basket full of gift ideas for yourself and all the Francophiles in your life.

A Painter at Work by Paul Cézanne

A Painter at Work by Paul Cézanne

Fishing Boats by Claude Monet

Fishing Boats by Claude Monet

Speaking of Francophiles, there surely must be a big one at the Denver Art Museum. From Yves Saint Laurent to Van Gogh, I’ve reported on a variety of French-inspired exhibitions at DAM, all of which have been showcased par excellence. Zee French theme continues with Cartier in the 20th Century, a showstopper exhibition (sans doute) that will take place mid November 2014 through mid March 2015. Denver est magnifique!

Un grand merci to the Denver Art Museum for the images used in this post.

30 Jan 2014, 6:31pm
by Lisa Perfetti


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