Artistically speaking, does “small” translate into “intimate”?
In the case of “Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art,” the current show at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, the answer is a definite “probably.”
All in all, the 21 artists on display created the 68 paintings, mainly oils on canvas, not for exhibit or salons but for drawing rooms or to share with friends and relatives.
The title is mildly misleading, however.
The 19th century artworks (which range from a tiny 5×7 – that’s inches, not feet – to about 24×29) represent pre- and post-Impressionist artists as well as the eight mainstream Impressionists.