Saturday, June 23, 2007

Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings: The Clark Brothers Collect

From the Met website:
More than 65 celebrated masterpieces owned by rival brother collectors—Robert Sterling Clark (1877–1956), founder of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Stephen Carlton Clark (1882–1960), a former trustee and illustrious donor to The Metropolitan Museum of Art—are featured in this unprecedented exhibition.

Renoir holds pride of place in this exhibition. Both Clark brothers thought highly of him and collected him avidly. Whereas Sterling, the older brother, drew a line at the Post-impressionists, Stephen collected Matisse, Bonnard, Picasso and Braque too. Stephen even hanged Matisse's "The White Plumes" (1919) over his fireplace.

Looking at Matisse's "Odalisque with Grey Pants" and Cezanne's "Still Life with a Ginger Pot and Eggplants" makes me think that Matisse paints patterns whereas Cezanne paints planes. Fabrics in Matisse often appear as wall hangings or floor carpets, and their flatness distorts traditional perspectives. In the Cezanne still life, the cloth is all angles, giving a sense of how it is both soft and sharp.


Andrew Shields said...

Thanks for the Cezanne. So beautiful.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi Andrew,
the Cezanne more than holds its own in an exhibition of many beautiful paintings.

Andrew Shields said...

I've got the Cezanne as my desktop image now, thanks to you.

Jee Leong Koh said...

What nourishment for the eyes.