This February 20th, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, located in Paris, unveiled an exhibition of the collection of the English industrialist and patron of the arts, Samuel Courtauld. The exhibition is the first in more than six decades to showcase this collection and will be on display until June 17th, 2019. Together with the Courtauld Collection, and until August 26th, 2019, the rest of the building will be used to display a new range of works held by the Fondation entitled, “A Vision for Painting.”
SEE THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS
THE COURTAULD COLLECTION: A VISION FOR IMPRESSIONISM
The “Courtauld Collection: A Vision for Impressionism” exhibits approximately 110 works, including 60 paintings and graphic pieces, kept mainly in the Courtauld Gallery or in various international public and private collections. The exhibition will allow the public to see some of the most important French paintings from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century in Paris. It is sixty years since the first exhibition of these works in 1955 at the Musée de l’Orangerie. With this exhibition, the Fondation Louis Vuitton continues its mission to showcase the role of emblematic collectors from the history of art.
The works in display include Un Bar aux Folies Bergère (1882) by Manet, La Jeune Femme se poudrant by Seurat (1889-90), Les Joueurs de cartes by Cézanne (1892-96), Autoportrait à l’oreille bandée by Van Gogh (1889), Nevermore by Gauguin (1897), as well as watercolors by J.M.W. Turner.
His link to France inspired Samuel Courtauld’s collection and its motivation. Though his family originally came from the Île d’Oléron, they moved to London in the late 17th century. His ancestors built a textile business in 1794 which became one of the largest in the world at the start of the 20th century thanks to the invention of the synthetic fiber, viscose. Courtauld was president of the company from1921 until 1945. As a passionate Francophile, he spent much time in Paris, purchasing art pieces from French dealers under the advice of art historians such as Percy Moore Turner.
In 1931, Samuel Courtauld created the Courtauld Institute (housed in the family residence of Home House), allowing the public access to the history of art and to the works he collected. Half of his collection was freely accessible to students at this time. The rest of the collection, and other works acquired later, were bequeathed to the Courtauld Institute upon his death.
FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON / THE COLLECTION: A VISION FOR PAINTING
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is also displaying a new selection of 75 works, by 23 international artists, from its collection. The works are composed of paintings, figurative or abstract, expressive or distanced, created from the 1960s to the present day. Relief pieces are contrasted with each other, with rooms dedicated to artists such as Joan Mitchell, Gerhard Richter, and Jesús Rafael Soto. The hanging displays how painting never stops to reinvent itself and rebels against its own rules, while drawing on modern techniques for reproduction. – GM