Linda Y. Peng reviews the exhibition Les Macchiaioli 1850-1874: Des impressionnistes italiens? at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, on view through July 22, 2013.
Peng writes: "The Macchiaioli artists rebelled against the established art academy stultifying conventions of ‘finished paintings’ and thematic restrictions to biblical and historical or courtly subjects. They were the descendants of Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Velasquez, and Spagnolotto (Ribera), innovating the chiaroscuro method of enriching tonal expressions and spatial depth relations in a modern context. They were true modernists, enthusiastic for the new medium of photography, with its pronounced light and shadow, and for Japanese prints and paintings and the adoption of sharper and defining white tone."