The Legion in Honor in San Francisco has just opened ‘Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art’, featuring the work of 19th century avant-garde painters such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent van Gogh.
The exhibition includes nearly 70 paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and features a selection of intimately scaled impressionist and post-impressionist still lifes, portraits and landscapes, whose charm and fluency invite close scrutiny.
The paintings’ dimensions reflect their intended function: display in domestic interiors. Their intimate effect also extends to the paintings’ themes—many are studies of the artists’ favorite places and depictions of people familiar to them, and the works often became gifts shared among friends.
Iconic subjects of the impressionists are represented in many of the canvases: ballerinas and racehorses by Edgar Degas, still lifes by Paul Cézanne and depictions of fashionable young women by Renoir. The more decorative use of color