Previewing two exhibitions coming to the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

John E. Buchanan, Jr., the director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, has announced a diverse roster of upcoming exhibitions in 2011 and 2012 at the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. Currently on view in the Herbst Special Exhibition Galleries at the de Young Museum through October 9th is Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. This extraordinary exhibition of works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was selected from the permanent collection of the Musée National Picasso, Paris. The Musée Picasso, which opened in 1985 in the seventeenth-century Hôtel Salé in the Marais district of Paris, serves as the repository for nearly 3,600 works from the artist’s personal collection that passed to the French government following his death. Ranging from preliminary sketches to finished masterpieces, this unique collection of “Picasso’s Picassos” provides ample proof of the artist’s assertion, “I am the greatest collector of Picassos in the world.”
Click here for ticket information: PICASSO

Self Portrait (1907). Paris, Autumn1906.
Oil on canvas. 25½ x 21¼ inches

“This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition is comprised of works from every phase of Picasso’s extraordinary career, including masterpieces from his Blue, Rose, Expressionist, Cubist, Neoclassical and Surrealist periods,” describes John E. Buchanan, Jr., director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “These works present eloquent testimony to his role as a protean figure who not only created and contributed to new art forms and movements, but also forever transformed the very definition of art itself. Following on the heels of our recent exhibitions of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, this exhibition represents a natural progression forward to the masterworks of the 20th century.”

“The exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris lifts the curtain on the first act of a groundbreaking partnership between the Musée Picasso and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, with the intention of deepening our institutional, artistic and scientific links over the coming decade,” says Anne Baldassari, general commissioner and president of the Musée National Picasso.

Chat saisissant un oiseau. 1939

Picasso’s personal life, including his complex relationships with his wives, mistresses, and muses, also can be traced through his art. As he once commented, “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” These artworks provide insight into Picasso’s working process and offer eloquent testimony to his role as a protean figure who created and contributed to numerous new art forms and movements. Although he never embraced purely abstract art, Picasso demonstrated through his radical pictorial and sculptural innovations that in art, anything is possible. By incorporating found objects from the real world into his collage and assemblage works, he altered their meaning, challenged viewers to participate more actively in the perception and interpretation of the artwork, and dissolved the traditional barriers that separated art and life. Ultimately, he transformed the very definition of art itself.

The Kiss (1925)

Coming to the de Young:
October 29th through February 12, 2012
MASTERS OF VENICE: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power

TITIAN. Danae and the Shower of Gold. (1560s)

From the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, comes a worldwide exclusive presentation of 50 paintings by sixteenth-century Venetian artists – Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Mantegna, and more, all on loan from the Gemäldegalerie of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Featured are outstanding examples of the work of these artists that were collected by the archdukes and emperors of the Habsburg family, which are among the most celebrated holdings in the collections of the Gemäldegalerie. Key works include Titian’s sumptuous Danáe (1560s), Mantegna’s tortured Saint Sebastian (1457–1459) and four rare paintings by Giorgione, including The Three Philosophers (ca. 1508–1509) and Portrait of a Young Woman (Laura) (1506). The exhibition also includes works by Palma, Bordone, Bossano, and more. Together, these examples represent the range of Venetian accomplishment in Renaissance-era painting.

MANTEGNA. Detail, Saint Sebastian. (1457–1459)

Continuing at the Legion of Honor through Sunday, October 2nd is one of the finest collections of 17th-century art: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection . The couple has been called “the most important collectors you’ve never heard of.” Masterworks from this collection are constantly sought after for American and international exhibitions. Now for the first time the Van Otterloos’ marvelous Dutch Golden Age paintings are showcased together in an exhibition that debuted in Massachusetts at the Peabody Essex Museum and arrived at the Legion of Honor July 9, 2011. The selection of 70 paintings includes premier examples of quintessentially Dutch subjects—from portraits and still lifes to landscapes and charming scenes of everyday life. Collectively these works chronicle a 17th-century Holland that served as a model for early American society and culture. Consummate examples of the craft of painting, the works in the Van Otterloo collection are extraordinary in their beauty and in excellent condition. Famous artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Hendrick Avercamp are featured, as are genre specialists Frans van Mieris and Gerrit Dou, whose magical Dog at Rest is so typically Dutch in its quiet intense study of a small dog curled up asleep.

Gerrit Dou (Leiden 1613–1675 Leiden), Sleeping Dog, 1650.
Oil on panel, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

Coming to the Legion of Honor:
October 22nd through January 22, 2012

Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) had a special lifelong interest in the human figure. From his earliest years in the Caribbean and Venezuela until his death in Paris in 1903, Pissarro drew, painted and made prints featuring human subjects from every walk of life, which outnumber the figural works of his colleagues Monet and Sisley. Pissarro’s People celebrates the painter’s humanism in all its aspects and brings together over 100 works of art including 40 paintings and numerous works on paper made over the course of his entire career. Highlights include intimate portraits of the artist’s family as well as notable genre scenes set in the fields and marketplaces of rural France. Pissarro’s paintings of housemaids, peasants and farm workers stress their individuality rather than their mythic qualities, which so preoccupied Millet, his predecessor in the agricultural figural tradition. Finally, Pissarro’s identity as an anarchist is explored in his late work, including a unique album of political drawings and a series of utopian landscapes representing life after the hoped-for social revolution.

CAMILLE PISSARRO. Jeanne Pissarro, Called Cocotte, Reading. (1899)
Oil on canvas. 22 x 26 3/8 in. (56 x 67 cm)
Collection of Ann and Gordon Getty

CAMILLE PISSARRO. The Harvest. (1882 )
Tempera on canvas. 27 11/16 x 49 9/16 in. (70.3 x 126 cm)
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

Click here for more information on the: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at:


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    [...] with Puccini’s “Turandot”, September 9thHELP IS ON THE WAY XVII: Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!Previewing two exhibitions coming to the de Young Museum and Legion of HonorNEW ON CD – “Live from the Marlboro Music Festival”100th BIRTHDAY – San Francisco Symphony [...]