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In 2008, my husband and I took a 10-day trip to Russia.  I was especially excited about seeing the Impressionist collection at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. However, I had recently found out that the second half of the collection was in Moscow.  Upon meeting our guide, told her that I wanted to see the French Impressionist collection.  The guide said that since we were scheduled to see the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and since we had a limited time in Moscow, we should skip the exhibit at the Pushkin Museum.  I didn’t insist, which was a huge mistake.  So ever since, I have wanted to see this exhibit.

Robin and I went to Paris on November 11th and I was excited since I would be able to see all the paintings.  But NO, the museum was closed for the holiday weekend.  So, last weekend, Niko and I returned for 1 night to see this amazing exhibit.

If you are going to be in Paris between now and February 20th 2017, buy your tickets on the internet and make your way to the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris.  Or just call your travel agent and get on a plane.  Seriously, this exhibit is that wonderful!img_1058This is part of the Daniel Buren exhibit. Waiting in line 1062 The lines to get in the museum people waiting to get in the museumThis is the entry hall of the museum.  I love the rose.

Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin (1854-1936) was a very successful Russian business man who became a huge art collector between 1897, when he bought his first Monet, until he died in 1936.  He amassed over 258 impressionist and post-impressionist works of art.

Mr. Shchukin met Matisse in 1906 and became a patron, collecting 38 of his best painting over an 8-year period.  His collection included 50 Picassos, 13 Monet, 28 Matisse, 8 Cezanne’s, 4 Van Gogh’s, a roomful of Gauguin’s, 3 Renoirs, 7 Rousseau, and other notable works.img_1075Matisseimg_1073Matisse (1902) (I think this one is amazing.)img_1069 Monet (1888) img_1066Henri Rousseau (1908) (And this is my other favorite).  Picasso (I had a hard time getting to the Picasso’s; sorry)

The paintings covered the walls from floor to ceiling, of his Moscow mansion,  the Trubetskoy Palace.  In 1907, he opened the doors to his home on Sundays so the public could see his amazing but controversial collection.  He personally led the public on tours.

After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the collection was seized by Stalin’s government and his home became a museum. Shchukin and his family fled to Paris at this time.  Soon after, since Stalin didn’t like the art, it was put into storage. Part of the time they were stored in Siberia and some suffered damage from the cold.  Many of those are bing restored.  It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the paintings were publically displayed, in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg.

Our guide in St. Petersburg told us this story about the division of the art into two parts.  According to him, it was done by: 1 for me and 1 for you without regard to who the artist was or how large or important the painting was.

DanceThis one also came from the internet. It was considered scandalous because of the nudes.  A sister painting is called “Music”, but has been damaged along the edges, so was not displayed. It was often very difficult to take my own photos because to the crowds.

I copied the following three from the internet:MatisseWhen Shchukin acquired this painting from Matisse, the table cloth was blue.  That was one of the reasons he wanted it.  Matisse thought it would look better in red and repainted it without telling Shchukin.  Mr. Shchukin apparently didn’t mind the change.MonetMatisse “Luncheon on the Grass”  Manet also has a painting by this name.GauguinImagine a room dedicated to Paul Gauguin.  Paul Gauguin’s “eh quoi, tu es jalouse?” 1892 in the Pushkin Museum.  This is one of 16 paintings

Thanks to the effort of Bernard Arault, the collection is being shown at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

“Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection, Hermitage Museum– Pushkin Museum” will be on view at the Fondation Louis Vuitton from October 20, 2016–February 20, 2017