Matisse, Monet, and More: A Paris Exhibit Reveals a Russian Collector’s Passion

La Danseuse dans l’atelier du photographe in 1875 by Edgar Degas

If Paris is always a good idea, as the saying goes, then it is an especially enticing proposition now: Through February 20, visitors to the City of Light can view a pivotal private art collection that has not been assembled in a single location since the late 1940s. The exhibition, Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection, presents works by a long list of celebrated artists, among them Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas (shown above: La Danseuse dans l’atelier du photographe, 1875), Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Olga Rozanova, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh. Some 130 pieces on display belonged to the Russian businessman and art patron Sergei Shchukin as part of an even larger amassment that he housed—and shared with the public at no charge—in his palace in Moscow before the collection was confiscated by Lenin. Curated by Anne Bal­dassari (formerly of the Musée Picasso) and produced with help from Russia’s Pushkin and Hermitage Museums and the Tretyakov State Gallery, the show takes visitors on an aesthetic journey made all the more beautiful by its setting: the Frank Gehry–designed Fondation Louis Vuitton (fondation​louis​vuitton.fr).

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