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Paris. Cafés, amis et impressions
Paris, Musée Marmottan
Paul Gauguin. 1875
One day, I became friends with Pissarro.
Thanks to him, I approached the group of Impressionists
and took part in many of their exhibitions. My artistic training, which I had until then considered painting to be a pleasant diversion, soon became a vital activity, growing within the Impressionist experience. In my early days, in fact, I produced works that were suggested to me by the daily observation of life that took place around me,
in my family environment or even in the countryside outside Paris, nourishing an entirely impressionistic faith in the concrete validity of visual experience, to be conducted strictly en plein air. I also appreciated the Impressionists because, in their definitive rejection of 19th-century aesthetic canons,
they had successfully freed themselves from the squalid brakes imposed by academic teaching: <<Impressionism is pure, not yet contaminated by the putrid kiss of the École des Beaux-Arts!>>, I used to repeat to my friends. Spurred on by the work of Degas, I also painted solid, balanced figures, prehensile to a light that did not dissolve their forms,
but rather modelled and highlighted them with realism and vivacity, and thus spontaneously adhered to the canons of Naturalism. The Marmottan Museum would become the home of several of my works, even though it houses, in its rooms, many masterpieces by the major Impressionist exponents.
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