Thursday, 2 August 2012

'From Paris:

A Taste for Impressionism' is the current exhibition in the Sackler Wing of Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts. The shows artworks are all borrowed from the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts in the US. It is divided into these themes: Still Life, Landscape, Genre Scenes, The Female Figure, Orientalism and the Exotic and PortraitsThese are my highlights, which are drawn from the majority of those themes of this quaint exhibition:

I really dont like the taste of them, but I like the way Renoir has painted Onions (below)! This softly painted style is classic Renoir.

Onions (1881) (Oil on Canvas), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919)

I like the way Rousseau draws the viewers eye first to the lightest area of the sky, then to the farm below and the path leading up to it. The style he painted Farm in the Landes (below) reminds me a little of Constable. Rousseau was a leading member of the Barbizon School and a major influence on the Impressionists.

Farm in the Landes (1844-67) (Oil on Canvas), Theodore Rousseau (1812 - 67)

In Gooseherd (below) by Troyon the viewers eye is immediately drawn to the light playing on the feathers of the softly painted geese.

Gooseherd (1850-55) (Oil on Panel), Constant Troyon (1810 - 65)


Saint-Charles, Eragny (below) was painted when Pissaro was temporarily adopting the pointillist technique that Georges Seurat is famous for.

Saint-Charles, Eragny (1891) (Oil on Canvas), Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903)

Frigates (below) was painted magnificently by Jongkind. I especially like the detail on the ships in the centre of the canvas.

Frigates (1852-53) (Oil on Canvas), Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819 - 91)

Beautiful choice of colours from Renoir again...

Venice, the Doge's Palace (1881) (Oil on Canvas), Pierre Auguste Renoir

The beautifully painted Crossing the Street (below) by Boldini is another example of an artist drawing the viewers eye to where he wants it to go, in this case the immaculately executed face of the central character.

Crossing the Street (1873-75) (Oil on Panel), Giovanni Boldini (1842 - 1931)

In Renoir's A Box at the Theatre (At the Concert) (below) I like the way the contrast between the dark haired lady's eyes first holding the viewers gaze and the girl in profile then drawing the eyes down to the bouquet of flowers in her lap. According to the wall text for this painting there was a man in the top right hand corner that Renoir painted out with the curtain.

A Box at the Theatre (At the Concert) (1880) (Oil on Canvas), Pierre-Auguste Renoir

James Tissot, a master at painting people in many different surroundings...

Chrysanthemums (1874-76) (Oil on Canvas), James Tissot (1836 - 1902)

I like the stylised way Bonnard painted Women with a Dog (below), apparently influenced by the wonderful Japanese prints that so many of the Impressionists were.

Women with a Dog (1891) (Oil on Canvas), Pierre Bonnard (1867 - 1947)

Alfred Stevens is an artist I know very little about. Having seen A Duchess (The Blue Dress) (below), I now want to see more paintings by this specialist in meticulously executed genre scenes.

A Duchess (The Blue Dress) (1866) (Oil on Panel), Alfred Stevens (1823 - 1906)

The most striking painting in the final room for me was this Self-portrait (below) by Degas:

Self-portrait (1857-58) (Oil on Paper, mounted on Canvas), Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917)

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