Europalia. The Road to Modernity

Exhibition October 15, 2021 − February 13, 2022

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium presents an exhibition "Europalia. The Road to Modernity".

The project is an art-historical "journey" on the theme of the train through the works of major 19th and 20th century artists such as Monet, Caybotte, Spilliart, Boccioni, Severini, Léger, De Chirico, Mondrian, Serrancs, Caviglioni, Delvaux and Magritte.

In its early years, the train was the ultimate symbol of modernity. It was the main instrument of the industrial revolution. It carried the boldest dreams of development and prosperity, but it also crystallized anxieties and aversion to change. The train became an instrument of the nascent tourism industry, promoted through posters and was available in three classes, which artists such as Daumier loved to watch. At the end of the 19th century, the Impressionists took up subjects with railroads. Clouds of steam, the movement of trains, the changing light of stations and surroundings-all these things Monet, Caybotte, De Nittis, and Ottmann tried to capture. Modern society, with its speed, violence and the sensations it engenders, also fascinated futurists such as Severini, Carrà, Russolo, Baldessari and Sant'Elia. The Surrealists adopted the traveler's point of view: the psychological aspects prevailed over the appeal of modernity.

Prepared on the basis of Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium.