The Morozov Collection attracts 1.2 million visitors despite the pandemic

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Dedicated to icons of French and Russian modern art, the exhibition ended on Sunday at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris and achieved a figure lower than that of the prestigious Chtchoukine collection five years ago.

The Russian Morozov collection, which ended on Sunday April 3 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, attracted 1.25 million visitors, a figure lower than the record for that set by the Chtchoukine collection but “exceptional” due to the health crisis, we learned from the foundation on Monday.

It is the first time that this vast collection, made up of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, Monet or Manet as well as works by Russian painters such as Malevich and Repin, has come out of Russia, on this scale, to be exhibited at the foreign.

Deployed in all the rooms of Frank Gehry’s building, the exhibition brought together a set of masterpieces emblematic of the emerging artistic modernity of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, from the collection of the brothers Mikhail and Ivan Morozov.

In an original museography, visitors were able to admire the works of the greatest French and Russian artists such as: Manet, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Lautrec, Renoir, Sisley, Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Denis, Maillol, Matisse , Marquet, Vlaminck, Derain and Picasso alongside Repin, Vrubel, Korovin, Golovin, Serov, Larionov, Gontcharova, Malevich, Mashkov, Konchalovski, Outkine, Sarian or Konenkov.

The highlight of the tour is the “Music Room” in Ivan Morozov’s Moscow mansion, made up of a monumental decorative ensemble made up of seven panels commissioned by Ivan Morozov in 1907 from Maurice Denis on the theme of Histoire de Psyché (1908-1909), and four sculptures created by Aristide Maillol, was presented for the first and only time outside the Hermitage Museum.

After several weeks of uncertainty, the Ministry of Culture announced on Saturday that two paintings from this collection will not return to Russia as planned. One belonging to a Russian oligarch, the other from a Ukrainian institution, the Museum of Fine Arts in Dnipropetrovsk. The Ukrainian painting is the portrait of Margarita Kirillovna Morozova, the wife of collector Mikhail Morozov (1870-1903), painted in Moscow in 1910 by Valentin Serov. This oil on canvas seized “at the request of the Ukrainian authorities” will remain in the hands of the French authorities “until the situation in the country allows his safe return”, said AFP. According to the press agency, the second painting is a self-portrait by painter Piotr Konchalovski. It would belong to Petr Aven, an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin who is subject to sanctions, including a freezing of his assets.

The Ministry of Culture is still considering the case of a third painting in the Morozov collection, linked to the oligarch Vyacheslav Kantor, also hit with sanctions. The object would belong to the Magma foundation, associated with the Russian billionaire.

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