Thursday, June 6, 2013

Corot to Picasso: European Masterworks from the Smith College Museum of Art

An exhibition of 58 masterworks of late 18th- to early 20th-century European painting and sculpture July 11–September 23, 2001 at Stanford University's Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

The exhibition brings great names of art history—Degas, Cézanne, Corot, Manet, Mondrian, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Rodin, Seurat, and more—to the Bay Area for its only California showing.

Entitled Corot to Picasso: European Masterworks from the Smith College Museum of Art, the exhibition was drawn from one of the nation's foremost teaching collections. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, organized Corot to Picasso from the nearly 25,000 artworks collected by the college over its 126-year history.

Among the highlights of Corot to Picasso were

Gustave Courbet’s Preparation of the Dead Girl (c. 1850-55);

two landscapes by Claude Monet, including

La Seine à Bougival, painted in 1869 at the nascence of Impressionism,

Field of Poppies (1890)

and one of his Rouen Cathedral paintings, Cathedral at Rouen (La Cour d'Albane) (1892-94), unique in the cathedral series as it shows a view other than the façade;

Picasso’s blue-period

Figures by the Sea (1903); and his later

Table, Guitar and Bottle.

The exhibition, curated at Stanford by the Cantor Arts Center's Chief Curator Bernard Barryte, was particularly rich in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. In addition to the paintings by Monet and Seurat, there were canvases by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre Renoir, Henri Fantin-Latour, Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, Odilon Redon and Paul Gauguin.

Other 19th-century artistic traditions include the Barbizon School, with landscapes by Jean François Millet, Thèodore Rousseau, Diaz de la Peña and Camille Corot. Paintings by Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson and by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres show Neoclassicism's emphasis on line and sculptural quality. One canvas by Thèodore Chasseriau and another attributed to Eugène Delacroix demonstrate the sweep and dash of the romantic movement. Sculptures by Degas, Auguste Rodin, Constantin Meunier, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse round out the display of 19th-century masters.

Included the exhibit was a piece by Edgar Degas,

Rene de Gas,a portrait of Degas' brother completed in 1855.

In addition to the paintings by Picasso, innovations of the early 20th century were illustrated in works by Henri Rousseau, Pierre Bonnard, Wassily Kandinsky, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, and Vanessa Bell. The great German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was represented by the large, vibrantly-colored painting of

Dodo and her Brother (1908-20).

Corot to Picasso: European Masterworks from the Smith College Museum of Art
traveled to the following venues:

• John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (3/10/01-5/27/01)
•Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts Stanford University, Stanford, California (7/11/01- 9/30/01)
•Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas (11/12/01-1/20/02)
• Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. (2/16/02-5/1/02)
•Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington (6/20/02-9/5/02)