Auguste Renoir, Madame Henriot, ca. 1876. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc.
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Intimate Impressionism, on view at the Legion of Honor from March 29 through August 3, 2014, showcases approximately 70 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, interiors, and portraits, from the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
The exhibition will illuminate the process of painting directly in nature with Impressionist precursors. Eugène Boudin and Johan Barthold Jongkind’s plein-air practice inspired artists including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley. Complementing these paintings of the natural world are depictions of artists’ studios and domestic interiors; several captivating self-portraits by Edgar Degas, Henri Fantin-Latour, Paul Gauguin, and Édouard Vuillard; Renoir’s 1872 portrait of Monet; and representations of the artists’ families, including Berthe Morisot’s The Artist’s Sister at a Window of 1869.
This celebration of fleeting moments and personal places also highlights some of the Impressionists’ most iconic subjects, such as ballerinas and racehorses by Degas, still lifes by Paul Cézanne, and beautiful young women by Renoir. The exhibition also includes examples of flattened perspectives and patterned surfaces by the Nabi painters Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard.
The temporary closure of the National Gallery’s East Building for major renovation and expansion has made possible the rare opportunity to see this select group of paintings in San Francisco, the exhibition’s first venue.