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A Labour (Day) of Love

August 27th, 2018

Claude Monet's rendering of a 19th Century train station.

Claude Monet, Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877. Oil on canvas, 60.3 x 80.2 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1158.  Image © Art Institute of Chicago/ Art Resource, NY.

Labour Day weekend is nearly here, and what better way to spend this glorious last weekend of summer than with a visit to the AGO? We’re open all weekend, including Monday, September 3.

In honour of Labour Day, we’re highlighting here several paintings in the AGO Collection that look at work and workers. These will be among the fascinating pieces in our winter 2019 exhibition, Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more.

James Tissot’s The Shop Girl

In this AGO visitor favourite, Tissot represents the bustling energy of Paris. In contrast to the wealthy women frequently shown in his previous works, in this painting he depicts a young shop girl who is part of the working class that emerged in Paris in the later 1800s. Caroline Shields, the AGO’s Assistant Curator, European Art, tells us more about this painting:

Caroline Shields, Assistant Curator, European Art talked about James Tissot’ The Shop Girl.

Posted by AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario on Thursday, January 11, 2018

Camille Pissarro’s Pont Boieldieu in Rouen, Rainy Weather

In 1896, Pissarro painted this view from the window of his hotel room in the northern French city of Rouen. This work is one in a series of 15 paintings he completed of the Boieldieu Bridge. During this time, Pissarro lived in the rural town of Éragny, but he frequently visited cities like Rouen, feeling revitalized by the business and industrial activity he saw there. Here’s Shields discussing this painting and Pissarro’s fascination with people at work:

Caroline Shields, Assistant Curator, European Art, talks about Camille Pissarro on his birthday (July 10, 1830 – November 13, 1903). He will be featured in the upcoming exhibition Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more, opening February 16, 2019. Pissarro. Le pont Boieldieu à Rouen, temps mouillé, 1896. Oil on canvas, 73.6 × 91.4 cm. Gift of Reuben Wells Leonard Estate, 1937. © Art Gallery of Ontario

Posted by AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Vincent Van Gogh’s A woman with a spade, seen from behind

Van Gogh’s interest in the working class fuelled his work in many ways. According to the Van Gogh Museum, in a letter to his brother Theo, the artist described his drawings of farm workers as, “the start of a whole series about all kinds of work in the fields”. Van Gogh hoped that scenes of this kind would establish his reputation as an artist of peasant life. The AGO’s Gillian McIntyre, Interpretive Planner, tells us more about this painting:

Labour day is coming up and so we’re taking a moment to talk about Vincent Van Gogh’s A Woman with a Spade, Seen from Behind, 1885 with Interpretive Planned, Gillian McIntyre. And a reminder that we’re open all holiday Mondays, including Labour Day, 10:30-4pm.

Posted by AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario on Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Drop by the AGO this long weekend to see these works, all currently on view on Level 1. And if you haven’t yet seen the powerful and poetic exhibition, Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental, check it out on Level 5 of the Contemporary Tower.

To help plan your visit, here are our hours this long weekend: We’re open Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, and from 10:30 am to 4 pm on Labour Day Monday.

Stay tuned for more details about our exciting upcoming exhibition Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more

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