Backlight – French Impressionist masterpieces

Under the title Backlight the Museum Langmatt makes a presentation, from its collection, of selected masterpieces of French Impressionism. In literal backlight, paintings from the collection by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir reveal their own very special magic. Light is positively synonymous with Impressionism. The fluctuations of light at different times of day and according to weather conditions never ceased to fascinate the artists. In the open air, in natural surroundings, they studied the effect of light on their subjects with great devotion and precision. This often resulted in serial artwork groups, showing the same subject in different lights.

Backlight is presented in the comparatively small exhibition spaces of the first storey, giving the pictures a special presence and sensory aura. The exhibition’s structure is based upon the classic picture genres of still-life, landscape, and portrait. Placed in new contexts, artworks by Eugène Boudin, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir engage in surprising dialogues. Coloured walls allow Impressionist classics to show to best effect.

When Sidney and Jenny Brown assembled this collection, which was among the pioneering collections of French Impressionist artworks in Switzerland, it was the early 20th century. Impressionism was still a trend in contemporary art, and had by no means achieved general recognition. This shows that the Browns were motivated by their hearts to buy these pictures, and not by motives of profitable investment or prestige. At the time, no-one could have known that these pictures would one day increase in value to such an extent. The pictures have now resided at the Museum Langmatt – which increasingly receives requests for them to be loaned to some of the most significant museums in the world for exhibitions - for more than 100 years.


Picture: Exhibition view Backlight



Saturday, 1st September, 17.00

Wednesday, 12th September, 12.15
A tour of the exhibition with Markus Stegmann.

Wednesday, 7th November, 12.15
A tour of the exhibition with Claudia Bader.

Opening times and tickets

Tues.–Fri. 14.00–17.00
Sat. / Sun. 11.00–17.00
Young people under 18: free admission
Standard price of admission:CHF 12.-
Reduced price of admission:CHF 10.-
Standard price for event attendance:CHF 15.-
Reduced price for event attendance:CHF 12.-