Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood – Jour 3 - My Visit with Berthe!
Sunday, 17 June 2012 10:19

I have long been an admirer of the Impressionist painters and in particular Berthe Marisot. She was one of the six painters whose first exhibition “scandalized and fascinated Paris in 1874. She was the only woman.”

The museum, Musee Marmottan Monet is across the street from a beautiful park, Jardin du Ranelagh and not far from Bois de Boulogne, the setting of some of her paysages/landscapes. I tried to imagine what it might be like to live there, in the suburbs of Paris. It could work for me! Only two buses, the 38 and transfer to 75 to the end of the line. A long ride and so well worth it!

What I can most say about the retrospective is that it took my breath away. I had seen a few of these paintings when my sister Pat and I visited the museum in 2008.

I especially loved the portraits of her daughter, Julie, with palm trees, with her dog, a greyhound, and also a fluffy white dog, origin unknown, but again with Julie.

Her landscapes, the larger scale with which she was not afraid to work, are exceptional. The subtleties between the three larger paintings with two women picking cherries were beautiful.

This exhibit is beautifully hung with large benches stationed in front of a wall of paintings so I could comfortably relax and view each one.

I loved how at a distance looking at a canvas, the brain/eye fills in the glances, gestures when it may not be obvious up close. What magic that is. For me it was a lesson.

For those of you who will be in Paris before July 1st, it is a wonderful chance to get to know this amazing artist and her work.

I consider the times in which she lived and the fact that impressionism was new and a woman artist, shocking. Yet she was accepted in that circle of amazing artists who started a whole new world, one on which so many built their work.

For viewing some of her work, click on the attached link and each individual painting to enlarge it for a closer look.

Next time we will go from the Impressionists to an icon of modern American Folk music, Bob Dylan L’explosion Rock 61-66, and thank you for reading Not Just A Jewish Book Blog.