Excellent art news: the St. Louis Art Museum has extended its wonderful exhibition: Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet through July 14. 2014. Bien sur! but of course, it must continue to Bastille Day! This special exhibition should not be missed by anyone interested in impressionist paintings, French culture and history, city planning, and especially photography. It is particularly apt to see the 120 paintings and photographs that came to St. Louis from around the US and Europe here in a city with ancient ties to France. In fact, St. Louis, founded by French settlers and fur traders, is now celebrating its 250th anniversary. The exhibition has an unusual approach, traveling through France in seven themes: Paris and the development of the city, monuments, rivers and forests, rural and agricultural life, mountains, seascapes, trains and factories. The works on display explore the era 1850-1880. Astonishing works of early photography, Impressionist paintings, and the high point of the Barbizon School of landscape painting are featured. The Barbizon artists include Corot and Rousseau; the Impressionists include Cezanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissaro. The fascinating idea uniting all aspects of the exhibition is the way in which images of the French landscape developed ideas of national identity. Viva La France and Bonne Anniversaire a St. Louis. Vite Vite (quickly!) find your way to this wonderful museum in Forest Park. Founded for the 1904 World’s Fair (that’s right, the one with Judy Garland) and recently enlarged and improved. Pictures: (L to Rt) Adalbert Cuvelier, printed by Alphonse-Louis Poitevin, Effect of Fog, 1852, photolithograph; Edgar Degas, Henri Rouart in Front of His Factory, c. 1875, oil on canvas. Courtesy St. Louis Art Museum.