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Just in time for spring, a section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been transformed into a sort of 19th-century palm garden encircled by colorful galleries featuring still lifes, landscapes and other works – complete with Parisian-style signage and park benches – that trace the history of French parks and gardens. The exhibition makes a case that France's parks and gardens, particularly their dramatic transformation under Napoleon III, had a huge impact on art, horticulture and the concept of outdoor leisure.The show begins the "Revolution in the Garden," which traces a shift in garden design in the years around the French Revolution of 1789 .There are vividly colored paintings of bouquets, often picked from the artists' own gardens. Hanging side by side are paintings of peonies and roses by Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet, sunflowers as seen by Monet and Vincent Van Gogh, and the lilacs of Henri Matisse alongside those of Mary Cassatt.
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