European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection
A glorious gathering of 55 European masterworks from The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection, published in association with the exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg, presents a collection that is particularly noted for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. The centerpiece of the volume is Auguste Renoir´s spectacular masterpiece, Luncheon of the Boating Party. Also included are works by Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and many more.
The Phillips Collection occupies a unique position as the oldest museum of modern art in the USA. In 1921, before the founding of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Duncan Phillips opened his home to the public as an art museum, conceiving of it as a "joy-giving, life-enhancing influence, assisting people to see beautifully as true artists see." He believed strongly in the continuum of art and artists influencing their successors through the centuries; thus he collected such past masters as El Greco because he was the "first impassioned expressionist," and Chardin because he was "in a sense that all painters understand, the first modern painter." The goal was to assemble works that would resonate with one another, revealing visual harmonies that tied together the historical masterworks with the art of his own time.
Highlights of the volume include The Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81), which Phillips called "the only Renoir I need," and now the cornerstone work in The Phillips Collection; van Gogh´s Entrance to the Public Gardens in Arles (1888), which Phillips purchased in 1930 to mark the occasion of his giving his entire house to the museum; Cézanne´s Ginger Pot with Pomegranate and Pears (1890-93), believed to have once been given to Claude Monet as a gift from the artist; and Paul Klee´s Picture Album (1937). Earlier works, such as El Greco´s The Repentant St. Peter (c. 1600-1605, or later), Chardin´s A Bowl of Plums (c. 1728), Delacroix´s Paganini (1831), and Ingres´s The Small Bather (1826), add to the comprehensive examination of the evolution of modern art.
Musée du Luxembourg
November 28 2005 - March 26 2006