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04/09/2013

Was there an Italian Monet?

Years before Impressionism — the influential Paris-based art movement — began, a similar style of painting capturing colourful impressions of light may have existed in Italy, according to a new exhibit.

The show at Paris' Orangery museum displays works from 1860s Florence with vivid, dappled light — in a strikingly similar way to famed painters like Claude Monet from the 1870s.

The movement was called "Macchiaioli," after the Italian for "stain," to evoke splashes of light in the painting.

"It's practically unknown around the world, but like the Impressionists they used the bright light of open air, contrasting shadows, and they wished to rebel against academic painting by going out and in the open air," said curator Beatrice Avanzi.

"The Macchiaioli: the Italian Impressionists?" show runs Wednesday through July 22.

-AP

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