An Afternoon at the Legion of Honor

by - 10:11 PM

In case you didn't know, a lot of the museums in San Francisco are free the first Tuesday of the month (check over here for more info) so this past Tuesday I went with Khoa to the Legion of Honor for the first time! There's a special exhibit on Pierre Bonard there until the 15th but I'm more into contemporary and avant garde art so I wasn't eager to check it out. I was, however, super excited about seeing one of Monet's Water Lilies paintings!

I know I look awkward... people were staring at me so I got shy!!

Although I'm not as knowledgeable about art as I'd like to be, I know that Monet had a huge impact on the impressionist movement and that his Water Lilies series was so important in how it framed its subjects, so it was interesting to contrast that with some of the other impressionist paintings on display, like Renoir's Landscape at Beaulieu.

Me looking at The Wave

Some of my other favorite images were John Martin's The Assuaging of the Water and Gustave Courbet's The Wave. I think the fact that The Wave is a realist painting allows it to be impressive even when viewed online or in photos, whereas Martin's art looks boring unless you see it in person.

The Kiss

Last but not least was the hall full of Rodin sculptures (there's also a cast of his iconic The Thinker outside the main entrance of the museum)! They had a lot of his notable pieces, but my favorite was The Kiss. The juxtaposition of the hardness of the material (bronze) and the intimacy of the action of the figures was so compelling to me, even though I'm sure that's not the right way to analyze it.

Overall, I had a good time but I think the best parts of the museum were its architecture and the location! Their collections were well-curated and a lot of it was impressive, but I'd rather go to the De Young. I'll be visiting the SF MoMA when it reopens and I'm planning on going to The Broad and the LACMA in August, so I'll let you all know how that goes!

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