During the twentieth century, many art museums deaccessioned their 19th century academic paintings, only to find themselves impoverished today during the realist reawakening. The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington is one such notorious example.
Above: Henri Paul Motte (1846-1922) The Trojan Horse.
Writing in the December issue of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, the museum's recently retired curator, Eric Zafran chronicles the history of the museum's French painting collection, which includes Lefebvre, Ribot, Tissot, Merle, Bouguereau, Leroux, Meissonier, and de Neuville.
Paintings by those artists are currently on view in a special exhibition at the Wadsworth. The show also includes more familiar French artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh, Gauguin, Redon, Vuillard, Bonnard, Poussin, Claude, Boucher, and Chardin.
Book: Renaissance to Rococo: Masterpieces from the Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Book on Vibert: Cavaliers and Cardinals: Nineteenth-Century French Anecdotal Paintings