Released at the inaugural exhibition at the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, "Masterpieces and Master Collectors" presents a selection of masterpieces that highlights the distinct but highly complementary strengths of these two world-renowned collections, featuring key examples of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and early Modernism, including paintings by Cézanne, Chagall, Kandinsky, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, and van Gogh.
The exhibition traces Modernism's roots in late nineteenth-century France, beginning with Claude Monet's Lady in the Garden (1867), one of the early monuments of Impressionistic plein-air painting. A scene of urban leisure by Camille Pissarro and portraits by Pierre Auguste Renoir demonstrate the range of subjects depicted by this innovative French avant-garde. Post-Impressionism and early Modernism are seen through a selection of paintings that are striking for their daring flatness and use of color, including Paul Gauguin's paintings of Tahiti's exotic "primitives," and Paul Cézanne's work in landscape, portraiture, and still life. Modernism's continuation in the hands of the early twentieth-century School of Paris can be seen in the work of the great colorists Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard; in fine examples of Pablo Picasso's painting prior to and during the development of Cubism; as well as in Cubist works by Picasso's contemporaries Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay, and Frantisek Kupka. The exhibition also features paintings by Marc Chagall, André Derain, Franz Marc, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Rousseau, Louis Valtat, Kees Van Dongen, and Vincent van Gogh. The exhibition ends with the abstraction of Vasily Kandinsky, including his great Paris-period painting, Dominant Curve (1936).