Walk: St Aidan's Church (for Resound concert), Legion of Honor (Impressionist show)
Distance: 8 blocks
There is some wonderful art at the Impressionists on the Water show that just opened at the Legion of Honor. Much as I love the Impressionists - the colors, the visible brushwork of various types, the always beautiful French scenery - I'm sure I was among many thinking "Another Impressionist show??!" Wasn't even sure if I'd bother, especially with its tie in with the America's Cup. (Another story maybe)
But, yes, Another Impressionist show by all means as it turns out. I believe the focus on boats - the importance of boats for naval defense, fishing/food, recreation, community - grounded the show. The artists truly are painting boats with great love and respect as well as in many cases ensuring that images of French harbors would be captured for posterity. Many of the Impressionists were sailors, rowers and serious boaters in their own rights. Many also lived close to the sea or rivers for extended periods and various reasons (including fleeing for safety from the Franco-Prussian that decimated Paris).
These paintings exude respectfulness - for real life on the water. There are artists whose names I had never encountered - excellent artists. Nothing is sweet or cute - or if viewers perceive the works that way, it clearly wasn't the artist's intention. Like everyone I've seen a lot of impressionist art, and my art experience was definitely expanded by this show.
Eugene Louis Boudin, Storm over Antwerp, (1872), Oil on Canvas
Camille Pissarro, Harbor at Dieppe (Le port de Dieppe), 1902, Oil on Canvas
Well, Okay, they are pretty too:
Pierre-August Renoir, Oarsman at Chatou, 1897, Oil on Canvas