Giuseppe de Nittis was an artistic innovator who was a point of reference in 1870s Paris for a generation of European painters during an era of aesthetic transformation.
The Phillips Collection, which has always championed artists with creative originality and independence, is the perfect museum to organize the first American exhibition devoted to the nineteenth-century Italian painter Giuseppe De Nittis, an artist who played a vital role in the Paris art world during the early years of impressionism in the 1870s. Although he is not well known today outside Italy, De Nittis was a central figure in the aesthetic and institutional upheavals of 1870s Paris. His international career lasted a mere seventeen years, but in those years he achieved great success. Invited by his mentor Edgar Degas to exhibit in the First Impressionist Exhibition in 1874, he was the only Italian artist to do so.