REPORT FROM FRANCE …
So far, I’ve seen three of the four headliner exhibitions. And I think it is safe to say that the Festival is a great success. And the museums were all full, and it is just the first week!
PISSARRO AND THE PORTS is predictably my favorite. It is quite interesting to see how much variety Pissarro was able to find from hotel windows in Rouen, Dieppe, and Le Havre. Of course, he captured all the different weather changes, but he also varied his view by turning to the left, the right, and looking straight ahead. He seemed to be fascinated by the ever-changing scenes before him. While other Impressionists chose to focus on one specific motif, such as water lilies, Pissarro was constantly challenging himself with different motifs.
SIGNAC, the exhibition at Giverny, is a superb collection of the Neo-Impressionist’s work. It ranges from very early works to his initial Neo-Impressionist paintings to his mature works in that style. He was, of course, a friend of Pissarro’s. In fact, he was first a friend of Pissarro’s oldest son Lucien, who actually introduced him to Signac. Signac in turn introduced both of them to Seurat and the Neo-Impressionist movement took flight. Pissarro became frustrated with the dots because the time required to create a painting in that manner caused a lack of spontenaeity.
UN ETE AU BORD DE L’EAU in Caen is a very interesting exhibition, featuring a number of less-familiar artists. There were several very nice paintings by Lepine and predictably a few Monet’s and Renoir’s. My favorites were a couple of very fine paintings by Berthe Morisot and an exquisite painting by John Singer Sargent. Perhaps you can see some of them on the website.
Soon I will go to Rouen, which is sure to have an excellent exhibition. It’s one of my favorite French museums.
And, of course, I will go to the two museums at Pontoise, one of which is the Musée Pissarro. There are always good things to see at both of them, and the book PISSARRO’S PLACES is on sale there.
More from France and then Madrid, as I continue to follow Pissarro.