SAM was showing an impressionists exhibition called "Intimate Impressionism", which was a catalogue of masters from the 1800s. Many of these works are so known to me they are almost cliched, but it was something else again to see the originals. The PORTRAIT OF MADAME HENRIOT by Pierre Auguste Renoir was a joyful image filled with bright light. BEHIND THE SCENES by Jean Louis Forain though vaguely creepy, with a tuxedoed old guy standing behind a lush young performer backstage, was beautifully composed with the left side light and the right dark. I drank in the various compositions, like that of THE TOWPATH by Johan Barthold-Jongkind with its diminishing row of trees to the vanishing point and his clever use of a limited pallete of green, tan, blue and white. Another standout was Eugene Boudin's CONCERT AT THE CASINO OF DEAUVILLE, I loved the lumpy iron work around the bandstand and the luminosity of his painted frocks.
I have no aspirations (or sufficient talent) to paint in this style, but I'm happy to learn more about art by wandering through the halls of art museums and galleries. It also puts me in mind of some wise words from Howard Hodgkin,
"Your talent stays the same, your critical eye gets better. "