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"Impressionists on the Water" exhibition opens at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Claude Monet, Boats Moored at Le Petit-Gennevilliers, 1874. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 25 5/8 in. (54 x 65 cm) Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Gift of Bruno and Sadie Adriani, 1962.23, Photo: ©FAMSF.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present Impressionists on the Water, an exhibition deeply tied to the physical and cultural landscape of the Bay Area. Impressionists on the Water has been organized in conjunction with America’s Cup and offers a unique complement to this summer’s races on the Bay.

This exhibition celebrates the French Impressionists’ fascination with recreational and competitive sailing, a developing sport in 19th century France. Select highlights from the Museums’ permanent collection have been joined at the Legion of Honor with key loans from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands, among other notable institutions.

Artists featured in Impressionists on the Water often had significant experience with sailing and other water sports; Gustave Caillebotte was a talented boat designer and builder, Claude Monet painted aboard a floating boat studio, and Paul Signac sailed the coasts of Europe extensively in the roughly 30 boats he owned during his lifetime. These artists’ hands-on experience lends many of the paintings and works on paper in this exhibition a precise level of detail and an evident sense of practical knowledge of sailing, yachting, and rowing.

Impressionists on the Water features approximately 85 works by Pre-Impressionists, Impressionists, and Post-Impressionists, including Charles-François Daubigny, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Théophile van Rysselberghe, Pierre Bonnard, and others. The exhibition also includes two boats and six boat models that further demonstrate the important role sailing, rowing, and yachting played in the social and artistic contexts of 19th-century France.

Presented in the Legion of Honor’s landmark building overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge, Impressionists on the Water offers a perfect opportunity for deeper engagement with maritime history, as well as the summer’s exciting regattas on the Bay.





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