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Sutro Forest – by Pissarro?

July 5, 2010

The De Young Museum has a brilliant display of Impressionist artwork right now. (The museum’s website is here.)

While the Musee d’Orsay is closed for renovations, we’re getting to see a hundred of its masterpieces in two exhibitions. Yesterday, I was there with friends. They’re marvelous – amazing pictures, beautifully displayed, and arranged. Some of them are so well-known that they’ve become part of the idiom of popular culture. Whistler’s Mother. Manet’s Fife Player. Degas’s Dancing Lesson.

But what I especially noticed was a quiet Pissarro, called Path Through the Woods in Summer. It reminded me so much of our own Sutro Forest, it could almost have been painted there. Except for the horse, of course (or maybe it’s a mule).

Actually, when the Legion of Honor had its 2006 Monet exhibition, I noticed how the landscapes resembled the Bay Area – so much so I felt I could have replicated some scenes with photographs from around San Francisco.

This is the first time, though, that the resemblance has been so close to home.

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