The Easel

5th October 2021

French and Russian Art on a ‘War and Peace’ Scale

Late Tsarist Russia spawned two great modern art collections. The Shchukin Collection was shown in Paris in 2016. Now the Morozov Collection is on show, also in Paris, the first time it has left Russia. No superlative seems too grand. Bonnard’s landscapes are a “showstopper”, the Gauguin’s are of “staggeringly high quality” and there are “incredible helpings of Cézanne, Monet and Matisse”. A “stupefying” exhibition, one that is “legitimately historic”. Images are here.

Understanding ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’

The Arc de Triomphe is now being unwrapped IRL, with little sign of a critical consensus. One French journalist tweeted “I am ashamed.” A writer happily admits the wrapping is both “nonsensical” and “transfixing, like seeing a frozen waterfall.” To another, it’s “joyous and lurid” and a reminder that “all things must come to an end”. Finally, a Paris resident – “I pass the Champs-Élysées most days. I never even notice the Arc de Triomphe. But now, I see it.”