By Brooklyn Reader

November 17, 2015, 9:53 am


Francisco Oller (Puerto Rican, 1833-1917). "Maestro Cordero's School," circa 1890.

Francisco Oller (1833-1917). “Maestro Cordero’s School,” circa 1890.
Photo: Courtesy Brooklyn Museum

Puerto Rican painter Francisco Oller contributed greatly to the development of modern art in both Europe and the Caribbean, revolutionizing the school of painting.

Some of his work is on display now at the Brooklyn Museum, Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World, the first U.S. exhibition to present Oller’s work within both its New and Old World contexts.

Francisco Oller (Puerto Rican, 1833-1917). "Still Life with Coconuts" (Naturaleza muerto con cocos), circa 1893 Photo: Courtesy The Brooklyn Museum

Francisco Oller (1833-1917). “Still Life with Coconuts” (Naturaleza muerto con cocos), circa 1893
Photo: Courtesy The Brooklyn Museum

Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.

Oller emerged from the small art world of San Juan in the 1840s, spending twenty years in Madrid and Paris, where he was inspired by the art of Gustave Courbet and joined the avant-garde circles of such artists as Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and Claude Monet.


In this original and important book, Edward J. Sullivan advances close readings of works spanning Oller’s entire career and offers insights into the development of the Caribbean basin in the nineteenth century. Hardcover, $60

While European Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism formed a critical jumping-off point for Oller’s aesthetic, his most important source of inspiration was Puerto Rico, where he painted tropical landscapes, still lifes with indigenous fruits and vegetables, and portraits of distinguished artists and intellectuals.

Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World is organized by Richard Aste, Curator of European Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art, New York University.

Edward J. Sullivan’s book From San Juan to Paris and Back: Francisco Oller and Caribbean Art in the Era of Impressionism (2014) accompanies the exhibition.

WHAT: Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World

WHEN: October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016

WHERE: The Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor



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