The Shchukin Collection

Amazing Art That Amazes: The Shchukin Collection

If you are going to be in Paris before February 20, 2017, I highly recommend you make the time to visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton and view Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection. The depth of the collection is amazing, and the individual works at times left me spellbound. The exhibition features 130 of the 275 paintings collected by Russian Industrialist Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin between 1898 and 1914. Shchukin fled Russia in 1914, and the collection was nationalized in 1918 and divided between between two museums. From 1948-1956, Stalin banned the collection, and other modern French art, from exhibition. Rarely seen outside of Russia, the Shchukin collection includes stunning Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Fauve and Cubist works. An entire gallery for Matisse. An entire gallery for Gauguin. An entire gallery for Picasso.

Buy your ticket online. The lines were long and having a reservation time is important. The Fondation Louis Vuitton is an unusual building. It was designed by Frank Gehry, who is not my favorite architect. Unfortunately, it was raining the day I visited so I saw very little of the outside of the building. The interior gallery space is wonderful. Most of the rooms are large enough for easy viewing. Unfortunately all my shots are at an angle. Don’t know if it was me, my smart phone, or a bit of both.


I saw the Shchukin collection and it is fascinating to think about his life and how fortunate he was, before the Russian Revolution, to be in a position to buy such avant garde works, many directly from the artists. Similarly, there is an exhibition, just opened in Paris at the Musee Maillol called ´21 Rue La Boétie’ , this time based on an art dealer called Paul Rosenberg, who like Shchukin had a vast amount of his collection looted/confiscated but this time by the Nazis. The exhibition is based on a book of the same name by Rosenberg’s granddaughter, the french journalists Anne Sinclair, and it has about 60 of the masterpieces that went through Rosenberg’s gallery at 21 rue la Boétie including works by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and including some of the recovered looted works. Well worth a visit.

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Sounds like a fascinating exhibit. I will have to see how long it is there and if I can do another trip to Paris/France. Thanks for the info.


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