Impressionist Works from Private Collections: 100 Masterpieces

February 7, 2010By Heidi EllisonArchive

Paris Update Art Notes


Paris Update Musee Marmottan sisley alfred tournant du loing

“Tournant du Loing à Moret. Printemps” (1886), by Alfred Sisley. Pérez Simón Collection, Mexico. © Arturo Piera

Even if you think you never want to see another Impressionist painting in your life, you should still go to see the exhibition “Les Impressionnistes en Privé” (“Impressionist Works from Private Collections: 100 Masterpieces”), at the Musée Marmottan-Claude Monet through July 6. Just be prepared to wait in a long line and jostle with fellow visitors who are also trying to get a glimpse of these paintings belonging to the lucky few, which may never be exhibited in public again in our lifetimes. This being the museum that is said to own the world’s largest collection of works by Claude Monet, it is only fitting that the show offers a few magnificent works by him, among them “Snow Effect, Sunset” (1875), an atmospheric view of a snow-covered village, and the amazing near-abstract “Leicester Square (London), Night,” (1900-01), with its vibrant explosions of city lights against shadowy buildings and murky skies. There are also notable contributions from Gustave Caillebotte, especially the wistful “Interior, Woman at the Window” (c. 1880), all in shades of blue and black, in which a woman stares out the window while a man sits beside her in an armchair reading a newspaper. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that among these “100 masterpieces” by the great names of Impressionism and some of their forerunners, like Corot and Boudin, there are many that really are. Heidi Ellison


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