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Impressionists on the Water
Monet's "Studio Boat"

As excited as we are about the America’s Cup this summer, staring at boats for hours on end isn’t exactly our idea of a good time. Unless they were painted by Monet or Renoir, of course.

At the Legion of Honor’s Impressionists on the Water exhibit, which runs through October 13, you can finally marry your love of the sea with your passion for 19th-century paintings. The mesmerizing collection of maritime-inspired artwork was assembled to coincide with the Cup’s arrival. In addition to the spectacular paintings of boating scenes by renowned artists, several skiffs and gigs are also on display--a first at the museum.

Here, a few entertaining tidbits we picked up from the curators:

French painters had a sense of humor Look closely at Charles-François Daubigny’s The Slanging Match, in a series of prints entitled The Boat Trip. The cheeky painter captured one of the farmers on the riverbank mooning the boat passengers.   

And made themselves look good In Regatta of Argenteuil, Gustave Caillebotte--one of Monet’s peers and a skilled yachtsman--depicted himself navigating one of the boats with a single finger on the tiller.  

Or hid in the shadows Clearly on the shier side is Claude Monet, whose quasi self-portrait takes shape in the form of his Studio Boat painting. Some say you can see his figure in the shadows, though we didn’t spot it.  

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