Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Enjoying Art

I love good art. I could wander through the Louvre in Paris for hours. So when I saw a PBS special about a very special exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, I called my daughters and said, "Let's go!" Since we had last Friday off work, I drove up to the City and after lunch we went over to Golden Gate Park's de Young Museum. Here we could see canvases touched by the paint brushes of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, and others. Prints of the actual masterpieces never do them justice.

The exhibit summary says it all:

"The second of two exhibitions from the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay follows on the heels of the first with a selection of the most famous late-Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir, as well as works representing the individualist styles of the early modern masters, including Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, and the Nabis Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard.

"It is here where the Orsay’s collection shines brightest with masterpieces such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night over the Rhone, a haunting Portrait of the Artist, and Bedroom at Arles (on the left below).

The exhibition includes a superior collection of paintings from the Pont-Aven school, including Gauguin’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with The Yellow Christ (on the right above). The exhibition concludes with the Orsay’s spectacular collection of pointillist paintings, represented by the masters Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.

"The de Young is the only museum in North America to host the exhibition."

Here are a few of the beautiful paintings we enjoyed.

Van Gogh's Self PortraitStill Life with Onions by CezanneWomen at the Well by Signac

Starry Night Over the Rhone by Van GoghThe Snake Charmer by RousseauJoyousness by Gauguin

A Dance in the Country by Renoir
Of course, learning about the artists lives was fascinating, as well. We learned that the woman in Renoir's Dance in the Country painting became his wife! And, of course, there is the whole debate on whether Van Gogh cut off part of the lobe of his left ear or whether he lost part of the ear in a fight with friend Gauguin.

Photos courtesy of de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

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