Why the Impressionists Still Matter

Does the world need another show of Impressionist or Postimpressionist paintings? A pretty good case can be made that the answer is no. But “Impressionists on the Water,” at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, leaves me wondering if we’ve spoken too soon. The show has a laid-back summer buzz. It’s brisk and succinct. It tells a significant story. And there are extraordinary paintings by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Seurat, and others. 

These nineteenth-century artists brought an almost scientific attention to the study of nature. And what they found was that the closer they looked at the world, the stranger the world became. For painters, water could become the ultimate conundrum, both visible and nearly invisible, a sight that confounds sight. All of us experience water palpably, immediately—and that’s

Article source: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114199/impressionists-water-legion-honor-museum

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