Monday, January 27, 2014

Impressionists on the water

Water, water everywhere… to quote Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I finally saw the Impressions on the Water show at the Peabody Essex Museum last week. The small but stellar exhibit features impressionist paintings from throughout France that have water elements in them—lakes, rivers, inland waterways, or the sea—by renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Signac and Caillebotte, as well as etching and model ships.

Of course I was utterly mesmerized by every Monet painting in the show, and in order to see every brush stroke I studied each of his paintings up close—as close as the museum guards would let me stand to them! It's always nice to learn from the masters and one cannot see those details in images from a book or on the web. The colors and brushstrokes in the painting below were sublime! One of my favorite paintings is the one you see above, the glorious yellow and orange colored “Saint-Tropez, the Red Buoy,” painted by Paul Signac.

One element of the exhibit that was particularly interesting to me was a recreation of Claude Monet's floating boat studio—complete with paint box, easel, a magnificent scenic view, and a series of computer generated paintings that were being created before my very eyes. Cool concept, and well executed. There are also beautiful boat models that were designed by Caillebotte. Boston Globe writer Sebastian Smee wrote an excellent article about the show—and really, all of his art reviews are excellent—and he raved about these boat models. You can read his article by clicking here.

So although the show wasn't huge, to me it was still worth the visit. Aren't we lucky to have these beautiful exhibits at such an esteemed, local museum? This is in our own back yard! "Impressions" runs to February 17, 2014 so you only have a few more weeks to see it. Anchors aweigh!

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