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In the Light of the South. Marseilles visits Hamburg.
French landscape painting 1800–1930
16 June – 17 September, 2006

Hubertus-Wald-Forum

Marseilles in Hamburg! Marseilles – that vibrant port in the south of France and Hamburg’s partner city – is the focus of this exhibition, the first in a series of visits to Hamburg by different harbour cities around the world. In this unique cooperation, the richly traditional Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Cantini, with its substantial holdings of modern art, are lending their collections for an exhibition at the Hamburger Kunsthalle. ‘Marseilles visits Hamburg’ is a comprehensive survey show, presenting some 80 masterpieces of French painting and photography from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The variety of works on display exemplifies the rich tradition of landscape painting in southern France as well as showing numerous views of the port city of Marseilles.

The sensuous landscapes of southern France were celebrated in the nineteenth century by a generation of painters whose unrestrained use of colour and lavish style of painting rank them among the forefathers of Modernism. This array of artists ranges from Joseph Vernet and Adolphe Monticelli, a role model for Van Gogh, to Raoul Dufy and André Derain. Since 1900 the coastal landscape of Marseilles has been a favourite motif for numerous avantgarde artists. Braque, Dufy and Derain were in pursuit of an ideal of pristine nature on the Côte d’Azur, whose colourful splendour they captured in paint with hitherto unknown intensity. These artists found the coastal towns of L’Estaque and Cassis near Marseilles particularly captivating, with their lovely bays and broad views over the Mediterranean. Marseilles, characterized both by its old sleepy harbour as well as its futuristic bridge, the Pont transbordeur, an engineering wonder of its time, offered Paul Signac and Alfred Marquet a multitude of motifs.

One can discover further aspects of Marseilles through photography, in both historical prints and masterpieces of modern photography by Man Ray or Moholy-Nagy.

This exhibition provides – for the first time in Germany – an opportunity to broadly explore the artistic inspiration that flowed from Marseilles and its environs. It presents an overview of French landscape painting stretching from 1800 into modernity.

Curator of the exhibition: Dr Jenns Howoldt

The exhibition is supported by


and by our media partner




Raphaël Luc Ponson
Raphaël Luc Ponson
Côte de Sormiou
Huile sur toile / Öl auf Leinwand
© Photo: Jean Bernard
MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS, Marseille

Félix Ziem
Félix Ziem
Quai du port à Marseille
Huile sur toile / Öl auf Leinwand
© Photo: Jean Bernard
MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS, Marseille