March 10th, 2014

Lovers of Impressionism will find a real treat in the temporary exhibition “Impressionist Works from Private Collections.” It is an opportunity to see 100 works rarely seen by the public, including several true master-pieces, at the Marmottan Museum, 2, rue Louis Boilly, 75016 Paris, until July 6th. This exhibit coincides with the 80th anniversary of the founding of the museum, which houses the largest collection of works of Claude Monet in the world.

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The exhibition is impressive in its breadth, both vertically and horizontally. There are some works of so-called precursors (Corot, Boudin, Jongkind and Manet), a generous representation of the pillars of Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Caillebotte, Morisot) and a number of artists whose works were strongly influenced by the movement (Degas and Cezanne). The time span ranges starts in the 1860’s and extends to the 1920’s.

There are many delightful discoveries, such as the View of La Roche Guyon reproduced above. When I saw it, I mistook it as one of Cezanne’s depictions of the countryside in Provence. That Cezanne joined Renoir for a holiday in the Norman village in 1885, two years before the latter painted it, hints at an explanation of the resemblance.