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“Turner, Whistler, Monet”

WITH ITS AMBITIOUS “TURNER, WHISTLER, Monet: Impressionist Visions” opening next month, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, in conjunction with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux and Tate Britain, joins recent curatorial attempts to reshuffle the deck of nineteenth-century art. Rather than conform to the monographic blockbuster or utilize neat categories like Romanticism, realism, Impressionism, or symbolism to provide shape and substance, these exhibitions seek out new relationships among works and artists that bridge temporal or national boundaries. Such was the case, for example, with “Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism,” a traveling show (it ended last fall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) that successfully charted exchanges between French and English art from 1820 to 1840. Lead curator Patrick Noon argued for a greatly expanded conception of

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