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Inventing Impressionism

When the artists who became known as the Impressionists first presented their work in 1874, contemporaries perceived their innovative working methods and unconventional subject matter as a radical departure from accepted ways of art-making. This selection of paintings and drawings by artists including Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Mary Cassatt highlights the Impressionists’ creative use of process and materials to represent contemporary subjects in a way that had never been done before. Focusing on the RISD Museum’s depth in this area, the installation features works on paper that are rarely on view — including Edgar Degas’s monumental pastel, Six Friends at Dieppe — and celebrates a recent gift to the Museum, Claude Monet’s A Walk in the Meadows at Argenteuil.