Electric Nights

MuMa- André Malraux Museum of Modern Art, Le Havre


3 April - 20 September 2020

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Electric Nights
- Exposition Universelle 1900, 1900, huile sur toile, 65,9 x 80,8 cm, Reims, Musée des Beaux-Arts ©Photo : C. Devleeschauwer

Electric Nights Dans le cadre de Normandie Impressioniste 2020

During the 19th century - a great century of change - the night-time landscape was radically altered by the advent of artificial lighting. Long veiled in darkness, night gradually began to be lit up by a wide variety of forms of lighting, each creating a different ambience. The interplay of light and shadow, chiaroscuro, back-lighting and the first neon advertising signs offered an array of new visual experiences imbued with a magic and poetry unique to the world of night.

These transformations of night made a deep impression on artists, who reacted variously with curiosity, admiration, fascination and nostalgia. Throughout Europe, night-time scenes became a favourite subject with painters, printmakers and photographers - the most open to expressions of modernity. MuMa’s exhibition «Electric Nights» is the first to explore artists’ perceptions of artificial lighting in the urban setting between the 1850s and the eve of the First World War.

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