“Intimate Impressionism” Exhibit at Legion of Honor

  • Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art on loan to Legion of Honor in San Francisco, California

Exhibition is running March 29, 2014 – August 3, 2014



Upon a dreary day up in the hills of the misty golf course, my companions and I set off to view the “Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art” at the Legion of Honor that encompassed 70 works of art- some of the forefathers that laid the ground for the abstract and emotional interpretations of the masters of Impressionism movement as well as those considered Post- impressionists.

The exhibit began with a room filled with the precursors to the Impressionist movement including works by Eugène Boudin and Johan Barthold Jongkind who had begun the practice of encouraging to paint from nature itself by painting outdoors. The poignant portrait of Edouard Manet’s “A King Charles Spaniel” created in 1866 foreshadows the Impressionist mindset with the energy and movement portrayed within the four legged friend’s flouncy fur coat. Their quick brushwork and decisive, bold moves were considered innovative and provocative at the time.photo-178


Even though their styles were collectively quite different, I believe it was the spirit and liveliness of artists such Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley that ultimately have tied them together historically. The portraiture includes Renoir’s portrait of Monet created in 1872, self portraiture by Degas and Gaugin, and some lovely beachscapes by the creator of Pointillism, Seurat.




The highlight of the trip, however, was seeing a quite peculiar Van Gogh. It truly is a treat and has been considered quite different from his other infamous body of work so has been not so well known. It shows great contrast of light, dark, and an array of pigments applied created a kaleidoscope of color! I am not going to picture Van Gogh’s piece so you are enticed to go enjoy the exhibit yourself first hand.


We saved the Matisse section for last to view- a delectable dessert of festive colors and shapes. I saw many sketches and compositions that I hadn’t seen in any book before. Variances in texture, vibrance, and graphically inclined, I will always remember this exhibit fondly. Matisse is on view from November 9, 2013 to September 7, 2014.

We were unable to take pictures in this portion of the exhibition but I felt so inspired after leaving the museum and we concluded the day with a hike along what is called, Lands’ End.




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