Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pissarro on Paper

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through March 31, 2013

This is the most hidden away exhibit I've ever seen at the National Gallery.   After wandering around the entire Ground Floor for quite a while, I asked the docent at the reception desk where it was, and she couldn't tell me either.  I gave up and returned another day, determined to find this show or die trying.  I finally found it, in the area marked "Small French Paintings."  When you enter that area, head off to the right and through several rooms.  It's in one room at the back.

Once I finally located the pieces in question, I was happy I persisted in my quest.  Although Pissarro is better known for his paintings, this is an exhibit of his prints, which became an important part of his art.  He could try out ideas more easily this way, and then commit to a painting later, if the design was successful.  He bought his own etching press in 1894. and made over 200 plates.  He sought to capture the mood and essence of what he saw, rather than focusing on the bare details.

I found a lot of movement in his brushwork, which gives the pieces a vibrancy that their lack of color might make difficult to show.  These works focus on rural scenes: the hustle and bustle of nature and those who live close to it.

Verdict: This is a small show, easily combined in a lunch hour with the library exhibit also on display.  Now that you know how to find it, you can spend all your time looking at the art!

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