INTRO SECTION LOOKING AT FRANCE
In my day, French artists were not highly regarded in England. My friend Hugh Lane, who was a great help in acquiring works for the museum, was one of the few champions and collectors of Impressionism. It was he who advised me to acquire a few French masters for the Art Gallery. Many masterpieces have since entered the collection through donations, significantly enriching the 19th-century French presence in the museum. The second section of the exhibition features French painting from Courbet and Corot – fathers of the new Realism – to Impressionism and its remarkable heritage.