Posts made in November, 2016

Gallery 5 Post Impressionists

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Discussion | 0 comments

Gallery 5 Post Impressionists

Gallery 5 contains more landscapes but these are Post-Impressionist, Fauve or Cubist.  There are two by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)- a most beautiful landscape of an Aqueduct in the Aix countryside. The Aqueduct  itself (in this painting) is seen in the distance, through tall trees which really dominate the painting.  Reading round, trying to understand more, it seems he painted many different views of the same landscapes showing just how different the same area can look from different view points, in different lights and different moods.  This painting was apparently very influential in the development of Cubism – Cezanne emphasising ‘a geometric approach to shapes and space in order to apply a “logic of organized sensations.”‘ Not much understood in his life time but having a profound effect on the development of...

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Gallery 4 : landscapes by Monet

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Discussion | 0 comments

Gallery 4 : landscapes by Monet

Gallery 4 is full of landscapes.  Shchukin was clearly a deeply thoughtful and spiritual man as well as a successful businessman and great traveller.  He came into contact with Paul Durand-Ruel (whose collections formed a subject of a recent National Gallery exhibition) in 1898 and began collecting the French Impressionists – long before most people became interested.  Gallery 4 contains 8 works by Monet painted between 1866 and 1904 – this beautiful painting of foggy, dirty London was actually completed when Monet was living in Giverny.  Shchukin had a collection of over ninety landscapes – he travelled extensively in the middle east and wrote extensively about his personal spiritual, reactions to changing light and the undulating, shifting landscape of the...

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textiles and prints: Gallery 3 Louis Vuitton

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Discussion | 0 comments

textiles and prints: Gallery 3 Louis Vuitton

This gallery feels very different from all the others.  It displayed some of the first pictures that Shuchkin collected between 1898 and 1905.  The pictures seem more conventional,  selected for their decorative and narrative attributes and framed in  heavy gilt.  There is a a pre-Raphealite painting – an Edward Burne-Jones(1833-1898) which is very beautiful and shimmers with light and colour but it does look oddly out of place.  ‘The Dauphin’s Salon at Versailles’ by Lobre (1862-1951) is very beautiful and was apparently a particular favourite of Shuchkin – who seemed to work hard to try an understand the paintings he bought. He placed this one at the centre one of the rooms of his home exhibition. It emanates calmness and a sense of...

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Icons of Modern Art: Louis Vuitton Foundation

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Discussion | 0 comments

Icons of Modern Art: Louis Vuitton Foundation

    In the second gallery of the Shchukin Collection  there is multimedia presentation by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke which reinterprets the paintings by Henri Matisse – The Dance (1909) and Music (1910). These large panels were commissioned by Shchukin to grace the stairway of the Troubetsko Palace.  It seems surprising (given our preconceptions about the cultural mores of the time) that these wonderful pictures of  naked dancers were put in such a prominent picture in his house.  The pictures are full of joy and life and colour. The exhibition is worth attending to see the Matisse paintings alone – there is a later gallery filled with his...

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Wonderful Exhibition: Icons of Modern Art: Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Discussion | 0 comments

Wonderful Exhibition: Icons of Modern Art: Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Why have we never heard of Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin? He assembled one of the greatest collections of modern art assembled by one man and showed great prescience,  in his recognition of new artists.  Some of these wonderful paintings are now on show at the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris. It must partly be because he is Russian and lived as the revolution took hold – so that his collection was ‘nationalised’ and then later broken up by Stalin and he remained unrecognised for that he had achieved for ideological reasons.  (More prosaically,  his name seems to be spelt many different ways and each variant used in the same articles about him, which probably doesn’t help non-Russians get to grips with who he is exactly). His collection  was, however, very famous around the turn of the 20th century and by bringing together paintings from the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists Cubists and Fauve schools and putting them on public display  he had a profound influence on the development of many Russian artists of that period. Shchukin (1854-1936) was born into a family of rich industrialists and, with his brothers, built up one of the largest textile firms in pre-revolutionary Russia. All the family seemed to be gifted with artistic eyes and Shchukin was courageous enough to collect painters whose  genius he recognised but could not yet understand. The words of Alexander Benois seem particularly apt, when he called Shchukin a ‘collector hero.’ 13o of the most important works in his collection has been brought  together for this exhibition at the LouisVuitton Foundation and are displayed in 14 galleries. On a practical note be prepared to queue for each stage of the exhibition and have a meal before you go as only a full lunch is available within the Foundation building itself. Here is a quick tour of what is available in each room. Gallery 1 This gallery has a series of self-portraits and portraits of other people (including Shchukin himself) by Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso and Derain. This room is full of surprises – I have not seen many portraits by the Impressionists before. The self-portrait by Gauguin (1848-1903) was particularly striking, disturbing in many ways. Gauguin is painted,  shaded in dark colours and looks almost dangerous. Certainly troubled. Cezanne’s  (1839-1906) gaze, painted in his forties, looks out at you directly,  strong, confident, challenging. The surprise in this room was a portrait of Benet Soler painted in 1903 by Picasso, delicate, fastidious in a palate of blue.      ...

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