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Unexpected Impressions

Just in time for the America's Cup races, The Legion of Honor’s Impressionists on the Water explores how art collided with high-tech in 19th century France. 

Claude Monet, The Seine at Argenteuil (La Seine á Argenteuil), 1874
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Claude Monet, The Coast of Normandy Viewed from Sainte-Adresse (La côte de Normandie vue de Sainte-Adresse), ca. 1864
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Eugène Isabey, The Shipwreck (Le naufrage), 1858
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Gustave Caillebotte, Regatta at Argenteuil (Régates à Argenteuil), 1893
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Édouard Manet, The Sea (La mer) from the book Le fleuve, 1874
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Oarsmen at Chatou (Les Canotier à Chatou), 1879
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The Legion of Honor is hosting Impressionists on the Water—a refreshing collection of paintings, etchings, prints, and even actual boats, all timed for the America's Cup races. The collection speaks to a time when artists took a fresh perspective by seeing boats as a chance to capture technological progress, rather than the same old landscapes. We asked Assistant Curator of European Art Melissa Buron what makes this exhibit different from the average Impressionist show: 

"With the America's Cup sailing races just around the corner, visitors will be surprised by the role that yachting, rowing, and sailing played in the lives of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. They were fascinated by the social and economic energies of an emerging modern world. In the countryside west of Paris, sailing became a popular recreational activity and competitive sport. Artists like Monet, Renoir and Caillebotte not only painted boats but they also participated as sailors themselves. So many elements of their paintings are actually critical details that demonstrate their keen understanding of evolving boating technology." 

Impressionists on the Water Runs from June 1st to October 13th at the Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave. (at El Camino Del Mar), 415-750-3600

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