VAN GOGH, GAUGUIN, CÉZANNE AND BEYOND
After the conference, those present were invited to visit Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond, Post Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée D’ Orsay, the second of the two exhibitions traveling around the world.
Late Impressionists works
A Dance in the Country ( Dance a la campagne) l883 by Pier Auguste Renoir
This masterpiece at the exhibition speaks to us without words. The impression that it conveys, is that of deep love on the face of the male dancer and complete satisfaction on her part. Both look completely at ease as they dance together held in each other’s arms
The Pointillists Painters
Early Modern Masters
Later galleries focus on Gauguin and his influence of younger artists who painted as part of the Pont Aven School spanning into what are called the Nabis Painters which include:
The Birth of the term “Impressionism”
During the Summer of l862, when Monet, one of these artists, was 22 years old, he was invited to paint with the Dutch landcape painter Jonkind in Le Havre, a recreational park where the parisians went to bathe, and relax. Nobody knows what Jonkind taught the young Monet, but talking about his experience he would say later: He (Jonkind) was my true Master and it is to him that I owe the final education of my eyes.”
Between l859 and l864 Monet, along with other students: Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley and Bazile consolidated their links with each other and started trying new ways of painting. Because of Monet’s experience with Jonkind, some began painting outdoors, instead of indoors, experimenting with the phenomena of light and color. They also started experimenting with new techniques: fast vigorous brush strokes, vivid colors and a new processes where short color strokes on the canvas, put together, would create an “Optical image” in the eyes of the spectator.
Vincent Van Gogh Starry night l888
In l863, the students got hopeful when the members of the Academy of Fine Arts and the preceding medal holders of the Paris’ Salon decided to show works presented to them, on an annual basis. Three thousand artists submitted their work; four thousand works got rejected. This led to the creation of another Salon: “The salon of Refused Works.”
Monet and his painters friends, most of them between 30 and 40 years old, spent the years between “The Salon of Refused Works” and the war of l870 searching for their own artistic personalities. Because their successes were few, the effect of their failures inspired them to continue experimenting with light, and continue experimenting with color.
In this picture, of Women from Tahiti, called Arearea, the Tahitian word for“joyousness,
In the process, all were discovering new styles. Discovering how different color strokes of the brush on the canvas would create different “Optical images” in the eyes of the spectator.
While Monet and Sisley were more or less non-intellectual and only attempted to grasp an intuitive apprehension of the effects of light, others, like Pissarro, saw the rational analysis of the sensation of vision. On his part, Degas made his main concern the separateness and interrelationsips of the objects that comprise the visible world on his figure studies, Working directly with nature, they also discovered than even the darkest of shadows contains an infinite variety of colors. This discovery may be seen later in the chromatic vibrancy of Monet’s canvases that according to the art critic Seitz, helped Monet paint his best landscapes between the years l872 and l877.
Within a few years, other painters began experimenting with the “new style” of painting..
Henri De Toulousse-Lautrec
One of those painters was Toulouse-Lautrec who became famous for his depictions of the night life in Paris: cafés, bars and brothels.
In l878, at the age of 14, Toulouse-Lautrec had suffered a fall and broke his femur (the thigh bone). A year later, he fell again and broke the femur of the other leg. Because his legs did not heal properly, his legs stopped growing but his torso developed normally leaving the man permanently deformed.
When he decided to study art, he moved to Paris and enrolled in the school of ‘Beaux-Arts. While studying, he stayed out most of the night visiting the cabarets in Montmartre specially the Moulin Rouge where he moved freely among the artists and the prostitutes.
In the above painting, the Red Head , belonging to the Early Masters Period, one can obseve the juxtaposition of the school of Realism: and Impressionism. The setting of the picture is indoors. The shape of the girl’s figure was not altered.. Both the wick chairs on the girl’s left and right, have been depicted with exactitude and the picture has perspective. All these details adhere to the school of Realism. Yet if we observe the woman’s skirt, we notice that Toulouse-Lautrec used horizontal and vertical white and grey strokes of a brush to create the girl’s skirt, and dark gray lines to create the girls’s skirt folds. A technique similar to Van Gogh’s in his Starry Night” painted just a year before. Toulouse also used a series of grey brush lines to create the effect of light and shadow in the girls back.
In the meantime, Georges Seurat, after a year of military service in Brest returned to Paris, where he concentrated in drawings and exhibited two of his painting at the Salon in l883. The next year, however, his great painting, La Baignade was rejected. This prompted him to found the Sociéte des Artistes Indépendants. (The Society of independent artists) with Paul Signac.
This is a big painting, so we can observe it carefully at the exhibition. When we do, we notice that the creamy-color of the nude’s body appears to be painted without lines to delineate it. It is emphasized only by the contrasting effects of shadows and light. In the picture, her skin looks very smooth and the painting give us the feeling that we are looking at her through a transparent curtain made of a myriad of different-color dots. The effect is marvelous.
The exhibition concludes with several decorative room size panels painted by the Nabi Painters of the Pont Aven School. Smbolism and Intimism.
By many, Monet is recognized as the founder of the Impressionism movement because it was one of his sketches: Impression: Sunrise, Which he painted and exhibited in l872, which gave the movement its name. The title of the painting indicated clearly that it was not completed, that it was only a sketch. The name Impressionism was adopted later on to define the new sketchy-looking style of painting. . Impressionist paintings are considered now the most attractive paintings in the history of art.
For information to the exhibit go to www.deyoungmuseum.org or call (415) 750-3600