Impressionists on the Water

On view November 9, 2013 to February 17, 2014

As an artistic subject, there could be no better match for the Impressionists than the element of water. The play of light, sense of atmosphere and physical experience of floating in a groundless world were irresistible for artists like Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Signac and Caillebotte  (an accomplished sailor in his own right) — key Impressionists who spent many hours at sea, on river boats, leisure craft and floating studios.

These artists painted in gestural techniques to suggest movement and the ephemeral, yet also frequently made specific notations of changing configurations of hull, sail and rigging. In the process, they celebrated the experience of gently drifting on a riverboat, or braving the elements on a ship at sea.

Through nearly 60 oil paintings, works on paper, models and small craft, this exhibition illuminates the importance that access to the sea and France's extensive inland waterways played in the development of one of the world's most enduring artistic movements.

This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Support provided by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum. Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Exhibition Sponsor: The AMG Foundation

Media Partners: WBZ, My 38