Icons Of Modern Art

Contemporary Art

This is one of the biggest exhibition in Paris this Autum ! From October 22nd until February 17th, Fondation Louis Vuitton presents the exhibition Icons of Modern Art – The Shchukin Collection.


The Louis Vuitton Foundation is dedicating its new exhibition to Sergei Shchukin, one of the greatest art patrons and collectors of the twentieth century. Shchukin managed to assemble one of the most important collections of modern art from the beginning of the 20th century.

His passion for French painting led him to possess numerous works by French artists such as Gauguin, Monet, Matisse and even Rousseau. This exhibition is an occasion to see them in their country of origin and to discover works by figures of the Russian avant-garde that belonged to Shchukin.


The collection of more than 250 paintings put together by Sergei Shchukin before the Russian revolution. The collector filled his Moscow mansion with some of the finest French impressionist and post-impressionist art, making a kind of orthodox altar in one room with 16 of Gauguin’s Tahiti paintings.

But his hoard of 50 top-notch Picassos, 38 works by Matisse, 13 Monets, eight Cézannes and four Van Goghs that the textile merchant picked up on business trips to Paris, was seized after Russia’s October revolution in 1917.


Lenin himself signed the decree to expropriate the works, before Stalin scattered the collection to museums in Moscow and St Petersburg, condemning some of the greatest masterpieces of 20th-century art as “bourgeois and cosmopolitan”.

“This is a historic event which will have people coming from all over the world, something we are not likely to see again for a while,” Jean-Paul Claverie, an adviser to the luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, told Agence France-Presse. Arnault opened the private Fondation Louis Vuitton at the end of 2014.

The show also includes 30 major pieces from the Russian avant-garde suprematist and constructivist movements, loaned by the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg.

Shchukin, who fled Russia for France after the revolution, had a particularly close relationship with Henri Matisse, who he brought to Moscow in 1911 to decorate his palatial home. He also commissioned two of the artist’s most important works, The Dance and Music, which are likely to be centrepieces of the Paris show, curated by the former head of the city’s Picasso Museum, Anne Baldassari. The exhibition is the fruit of years of negotiations between LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault and the Russian authorities.


Icons of Modern Arts – From October 22nd until February 17th at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris

Cet article est disponible en: Français

Nov. 28, 2016

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