Light on the water Fine Arts

As diverting as a day at the beach and as light as a summer
breeze, Impressionists on the Water, the
California Palace of the Legion of Honor’s new summertime exhibition featuring
works by Seurat, Signac, Monet, Caillebotte, Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro and the
other usual suspects, is as delightful as it is wafer-thin. Its premise –
that a number of these artists had connections to the water and/or participated
in sailing, pleasure boating and yacht racing, and that those activities opened
up opportunities to explore their artistic preoccupations with light and color
– is contrived. But let’s face it: tourists and local visitors will take
their friends, flock to the museum and have a pleasurable experience, no matter
what the critics say. There’s still nothing quite like seeing Impressionist
paintings in person to fully appreciate their colorful vitality, technical
virtuosity and luminosity.

Though it’s derided in some quarters as too easy and

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