A little over a year ago, I went to San Francisco, and while there, we decided to go see the “big blockbuster show” at the DeYoung Museum. Like many highly hyped shows, this one being Post Impressionist paintings, there was a companion exhibition at The Palace of the Legion of Honor (don’t you just love that name?) called, Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism. Much less hype, way smaller crowd, and way better show. I don’t know, call me an old fart, but I’ve had it with these over-crowded rock star museum shows, and yes, I know the $$$ they bring in helps keep the doors open. Just don’t make me stand behind someone who is listening to those headsets which is telling them what they are supposed to be seeing, instead of just seeing it. Ok, I’m done ranting now.
Anyway, it was an amazing, wonderful show, which highlighted the impact that Japanese prints had on the Impressionists, American as well as French. One of my favorite parts of the show (oh, MUST I choose?) was Henri Riviere’s series, Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower, from 1902. This was an homage to Katsushika Hkusai’s masterful series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. What I loved about these two groups of work was that while Mount Fuji and the Eiffel Tower are included in each of their respective series, the variety of the way each artist treated their subjects was extremely diverse. In some works, the purported subject can just be barely seen in the distance, while in other works, it is front and center.
This, I have decided, is the direction that I plan to use for my series of lithographs that I will do on my trip to Italy later this spring. To pick some iconic subject in Cortona, and include it, but vary the focus throughout the series. This is, of course, part of my Kickstarter project that still has 11 days remaining for people to pledge their support. (you knew I would get to that, didn’t you?)
If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can see it at: