Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Impressionistic Men of the Musée d'Orsay

The de Young Museum in San Francisco just opened an exhibit called “Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay.” We went to it this last Tuesday. It was wonderful.

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris is undergoing renovation. Much of the artwork was sent on tour. This Impressionism exhibit presents nearly 100 magnificent works by the famous masters (Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Sisley, and others) who called France their home during the mid- to late-19th century and from whose midst arose the recognizable artistic style: Impressionism.

The exhibition is here through September 6, 2010. Then on September 25th the second part of the d’Orsay show opens: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond (Sep 25, 2010—Jan 18, 2011).
Here are some of the interesting men in the current show:

The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte (1875)

Portraits at the Stock Exchange by Edgar Degas (1878–1879)

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by Honoré Daumier (1849)

Bazille's Studio by Frédéric Bazille (1870) depicts a gathering of like-minded friends in the studio he shared with Pierre Auguste Renoir. At the left, seated on a table, Renoir looks up to talk to Émile Zola, who is on the stairs. In the center, Bazille shows Édouard Manet one of his recent works, while Claude Monet stands behind him. Bazille's close friend Edmond Maitre plays the piano at the right.

Jason and Medea by Gustave Moreau (1865)

Wrestlers by Alexandre Falguière (1875)

The Boy with the Cat by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1868)

A Studio at Les Batignolles by Henri Fantin-Latour (1870) A group portrait of a new generation of artists.Édouard Manet, seated at his easel, is painting a portrait of the artist and critic Zacharie Astruc. The tall figure standing behind Astruc's chair is Frederic Bazille; Claude Monet can be seen at the far right behind him. Pierre-Auguste Renoir stands in the center, and the critic Émile Zola is to his immediate left.

Stéphane Mallarmé by Edouard Manet (1876)

Frédéric Bazille by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1867)

Pierre Auguste Renoir by Frédéric Bazille (1867)

The painting that I hope will be in the next show:

Bathers by Paul Cézanne (1890)

One of the additional benefits of museum touring is people watching. One can see many good looking, sexy men visiting the galleries. My gaydar says that there is an abundance of gay singles and gay couples walking about the rooms. I have yet to see a museum gift shop market to this discerning audience. For example, there is never a box of cards of just men on them. I have seen flowers, still-lifes, landscapes, and women but no men. Who sends cards today in the mail other then gay men and older women?


Jess said...

Nice. Now I know why the Orsay was closed when Marc and I were in Paris a few weeks ago! :)

Keith said...

Thanks so much for posting this article!

We are on our way to Palo Alto to visit family next week and already have tickets for this exhibit.

Can't wait!

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