Shchukin: Biography of a Collection | Events | Moscow Seasons
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June 19September 15, 2019

Shchukin: Biography of a Collection

Beginning June 19, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts will host an exhibition of one of the world’s most remarkable collections of Modernist European art. Moscow merchant Sergey Ivanovitch Shchukin, who gathered the works, began by buying several impressionist paintings in 1898 and later became famous for collecting radical art masterpieces. Many of his purchases are now deemed essential contributions to 20th century art. 

“What kind of a nut would pay for this trash?” is what many Parisians said behind Sergey Shchukin’s back, after seeing Henri Matisse’s ‘The Dance’ for the first time. Shchukin bought avant-garde pieces that were little understood at the time, but are considered iconic today. Gathered over 20 years, the collection of about 450 items features works by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Monet, and Renoir, as well as the world’s largest collection of Picasso paintings, with 51 works, and much more. After the Revolution, the collection was nationalized and randomly divided up between Moscow’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. Now reunited for the first time, the unique collection will fill almost the entire space for special exhibitions at the Pushkin Museum. Visitors will have only three months to enjoy these important milestones in European art and trace the ‘biography’ of Shchukin’s prominent collection. The exhibition has already been recognized as the Russian capital’s main cultural event of the year, so don’t miss it!

Beginning June 19, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts will host an exhibition of one of the world’s most remarkable collections of Modernist European art. Moscow merchant Sergey Ivanovitch Shchukin, who gathered the works, began by buying several impressionist paintings in 1898 and later became famous for collecting radical art masterpieces. Many of his purchases are now deemed essential contributions to 20th century art. 

“What kind of a nut would pay for this trash?” is what many Parisians said behind Sergey Shchukin’s back, after seeing Henri Matisse’s ‘The Dance’ for the first time. Shchukin bought avant-garde pieces that were little understood at the time, but are considered iconic today. Gathered over 20 years, the collection of about 450 items features works by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Monet, and Renoir, as well as the world’s largest collection of Picasso paintings, with 51 works, and much more. After the Revolution, the collection was nationalized and randomly divided up between Moscow’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. Now reunited for the first time, the unique collection will fill almost the entire space for special exhibitions at the Pushkin Museum. Visitors will have only three months to enjoy these important milestones in European art and trace the ‘biography’ of Shchukin’s prominent collection. The exhibition has already been recognized as the Russian capital’s main cultural event of the year, so don’t miss it!

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