Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

Two cities, two eras: a shared urban struggle

April 4th, 2019

Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more, 2019. Photo AGO

At first glance, the connection between Paris in the 1870s and present-day Toronto can be a little hard to see. But after a visit to Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more, some interesting similarities start to emerge. 

During the time of the Impressionists, Paris was a city undergoing immense change. With new infrastructure projects creating traffic problems, train travel connecting suburban commuters to the city and technology changing every facet of daily life, the triumphs and struggles of 1870s Paris are surprisingly similar to our own here in Toronto.

This important connection helped exhibition curator Dr. Caroline Shields (the AGO Assistant Curator of European Art) refine some of the main ideas presented within the exhibition. According to Toronto Star writer Shawn Micallef in this article, “the [Impressionist] artists were trying to makes sense of the complexity, richness and challenges of Paris then. That’s what we in Toronto are going through now.” Just take a look at the video below comparing original footage of Paris in the age of the Impressionists, with footage of modern day Toronto.

(As part of Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more, we’re inviting visitors to stop by our Visitor Station and write or draw their hopes and fears for the future of Toronto. Take a look at some of the responses below:

Image by the AGO
Image by the AGO
Image by the AGO
Image by the AGO

Come and see the connection between 1970s Paris and present-day Toronto for yourself. Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more, is on now until May 5.

Are you an AGOinsider yet? If not, sign up to have stories like these delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Comments are closed.