Place your thumb over the young girl’s yellow hat. How does the image change? Is it clear that the four patches of white paint are a billowing dress? Is the curvilinear, blue shape an arm reaching through the air? This painting by Félix Vallotton includes just the amount of detail necessary to describe a moment in time. If more detail were omitted, the image would not be clearly representational. Vallotton was greatly influenced by Gauguin. Like Gauguin, Vallotton painted large patches of saturated color. In this painting, large areas of color represent the grass, trees, dirt and shadow.
How would you paint yourself? A self-portrait is a way of visually expressing both what you look like and who you are. How would you accomplish this? The subject and creator of this portrait, Vincent van Gogh, used passionate brushstrokes and emotional color to illustrate his feelings and character. Van Gogh was a troubled man who struggled with depression and psychological unrest. His anxiety and fervor are expressed through his use of large, bold brushstrokes. The dark shadows beneath the artist’s eyes are composed of only three solid lines.
Does this artwork illustrate a place that you would like to visit? In this painting a wide bridge stretches through misty clouds and over grey, quiescent water. The bridge is laden with traveling horses and people. In the hazy background, dark smoke billows from the silhouette of an industrial skyline. Though this painting is quite beautiful, it depicts a city’s industrial district, a place that is typically not beautiful. Camille Pissarro, the creator of this painting, was a member of a group of artists called the Impressionists.
What color is the water in this painting? At first glance the water seems to be a deep, sparkling blue. Upon further examination, it becomes clear that the water in this painting is comprised of a panoply of colors including yellow, fuchsia, and green. The painter, Paul Signac, was one of a handful of artists who pioneered the style of painting now referred to as Neo-Impressionism, meaning new Impressionism.
In this self-portrait Paul Gauguin created an abstract image of himself and his art using large patches of bold colors and heavy black lines. How do the colors, lines, and shapes in this painting express the character of Gauguin? How might the artist want to be remembered? Like many of the Post-Impressionist artists, Gauguin was interested in painting how he felt rather than what he saw.
The de Young hosts an extraordinary exhibition of more than 100 masterpieces by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) from the permanent collection of Paris’s world-renowned Musée National Picasso. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, made possible only because of the temporary closure of the Musée Picasso until 2012 for extensive renovations, comprises paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints drawn from every phase of the artist’s career.
Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris is co-organized by the Musée National Picasso, Paris, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Penny and James George Coulter
Estate of Mary Price Moffatt
The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund
The Bernard Osher Foundation
Lead Education Patron
Douglas A. Tilden
Muriel T. French Trust
Isabelle and Charles Picasso
Estate of Emmy S. Altman in memory of Ludwig Altman
Dr. N. L. Ascher
The Frances K. and Charles D. Field Foundation
The Fortna Revocable Trust
Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
The Herbst Foundation, Inc.
Nion T. McEvoy
Estate of Henry Perin
Family gift in memory of Georgette N. Rosekrans
Estate of Daryl J. Weinroth
Additional support is provided by Terry and Scott Gross and Denise Hopper Fitch, Alexander R. Mehran and Venetta and John Rohal.
List in formation
Balenciaga and Spain examines the profound and enduring influence of Spain on the work of haute couture master Cristóbal Balenciaga. The impact of Spanish culture, history, and traditions is explored through the recurring themes in Balenciaga’s oeuvre and organized in the exhibition in six sections: Spanish Art, Regional Dress, the Spanish Court, Religious Life and Ceremony, the Bullfight, and Dance. Hamish Bowles, the European editor at large for Vogue, is guest curator.
Balenciaga and Spain is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums
Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue
Diane B. Wilsey