The De Young Museum in San Francisco is hosting the first of two exhibitions on the road this year because the Musée d'Orsay in Paris is undergoing renovation. The current exhibit, The Birth of Impressionism, runs through 6 September. I had the pleasure of visiting the De Young yesterday afternoon.
The show opened with several academic paintings of a type that were in great favor in Paris when the artists who would eventually be known as the Impressionists came on the scene. Truth, by Jules Joseph Lefebvre, is an example of the idealized images then in vogue among the gatekeepers of the Paris Salon, the biannual art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
There were more lovely paintings even than I expected, among them Gustave Caillebotte's The Floor Scrapers, a favorite remembered from my most recent visit to Musée d'Orsay; and Claude Monet's The Magpie.
My personal favorite reveals a taste, perhaps, for mystery in favor of truth: Moonlight Over the Port of Boulogne, by Edouard Manet.