Search This Blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Visit to the de Young Museum

For those of you who don't know, the deYoung Museum, located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco,  has the honor of hosting the Impressionist collection from the D'Orsay Museum in Paris while that museum undergoes renovation. The deYoung split this exhibit into 2 parts. The early Impressionists ended in early September and the "later" opened the end of September. We attended the second exhibit on Friday. My mistake was getting timed tickets for mid-day; The place was packed solid, which made it difficult to get a good feel for a painting unless you were very patient and waited for a break in the waves of humanity. I like to view up close (to see brush strokes and color mixing) and then from a distance (to see how it all holds together). I knew better when I ordered the tickets online, but it worked out in that we would never have been able to see the second and companion exhibit that was held in the Legion of Honor Fine Art Museum, "Japanesque, the Japanese print in the era of Impressionism" if we had gone to the deYoung later in the day. I had seen most of the work in the deYoung exhibit, but I did discover some "new" artists to me, which is always a delight. One artist, Paul Serusier, had an outstanding painting. I had not noticed his work in my visits to the D'Orsay. It could be the placement at the deYoung that made it jump out at me. Van Gogh was almost impossible to really look at from a distance, as it was near where they let the next timed group in, so people pooled in front of his work. Richard and I did manage to study his amazing brushwork up close. I did get to spend time with Toulouse-Lautrec who was on the opposite wall from Vincent. Toulouse-Lautrec never disappoints. His graphic sensibilities always inspire me. There was a good number of Cezannes and Gauguins, but the choices from Bonnard and Vuilliard were a bit disappointing to me. The focus from these artists was more their prints and not their paintings. Not a bad thing, but I really had my heart set on seeing the paintings again. C'est la vie.

At the Legion of Honor was a Frenchman, Henri Riviere, who was so inspired by the Japanese woodblock print that he did a series of 36 views of the Eiffel Tower as it was being built which was highlighted in the exhibit. There was so much to see at this exhibit that it would have been worth seeing on its own merit with more time to devote to it. The Japanese prints were of course noteworthy, but so were the Westerners inspired by them. It was a great addition and enriched the wonders from the D'Orsay.


Travelingrant said...

Sounds like an amazing show, I'm sorry I missed it. Though we did get our own portion of the collection in these parts. I wonder when all these paintings will be back in Paris and on display, safe for me to go visit France again.

victoriasart said...

This exhibit comes down in January 2011. So I would venture to guess next Spring since this is the only location the show was to be outside of the D'Orsay.