Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Viva Impressionism --- Day 3/87

Walk: Legion of Honor, Mindful Body
Distance: 1.5 miles and teach yoga class

Just when you think you know 'all about' Impressionism, you sit down and view a 12-hour Great Courses set of videos on it.  Finally, finally Ciwt is beginning to grasp the art strides that were taken in that complex, inventive, agitated, courageous, art window that opened in France from roughly 1860 to 1900.

But, even though Ciwt was just finished with this great Great Course on Impressionism, she had already reverted to the 'been there, done that, probably won't bother with another Impressionism show' mindset when she arrived at today's lecture at the Legion of Honor. Luckily arrived! It was given by the Museum Director, who has expertise in Renoir among other artists, and introduced the current Intimate Impressionism show at the Legion.  And, oh my, what treasures are here - in their small ways (because the paintings are all small ones, painted often for fellow artist friends) encapsulating the entire history of the Impressionism movement.

Certainly Ciwt will return to the show.  Meanwhile, a few fresh paintings that caught her heart today were of intense flower beds by Van Gogh and two dogs on the street by Bonnard. It is difficult to understand from our perspective that the loveliness and charm both - really all - these paintings display were the last thing the artists intended.  They were intent on authentic engagement in modern life, capturing lived experience on canvas.

Vincent Van Gogh, Flower Beds in Holland, ca 1883, oil on canvas on wood

Pierre Bonnard, Two Dogs in a Deserted Street, ca 1894, oil on wood


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