It’s never a bad time to visit Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis-Vuitton in Paris. Now, an extraordinary new exhibition makes it all the more important to include this architectural gem in your list of essential things to do if you are in Paris this winter. In a historical first, the famed Shchukin Collection – widely considered to be the finest and the most important collection of modern art in the world – is on view at the Fondation Louis-Vuitton until the March 5, 2017.

The Shchukin Collection

Between 1898 and 1914, Russian textile merchant Sergei Shchukin collected more than 250 works by impressionist and post-impressionist French artists during his frequent business trips to Paris. Given the importance of these artworks, Shchukin made his collection accessible to the public in 1908 and the Trubetzkoy Palace, where the collection was installed, soon became a meeting point for Russian intellectuals, artists and art lovers. The Shchukin Collection inspired several Russian revolutionary artists, including Larionov, Tatlin, Petrov-Vodkin and Grigoriev, and played a critical role in the development of Russian cubism, proto-cubism, constructivism and Suprematism.

Paul Gauguin, Are you Jealous, Exhibition Icons of Modern Art - The Shchukin Collection at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris | Urban Mishmash
Paul Gauguin, Aha oé feii (Eh quoi, tu es jalouse ?), 1892. Copyright Paul Gauguin. Courtesy Pushkin Museum, Moscow

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Shchukin moved to France with his family and the collection was nationalised by the state in November 1918. The Shchukin Collection, along with Ivan Morozov’s collection of French impressionists and post-impressionists, were officially renamed to constitute the two Moscow Museums of Modern Western Art.


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